Emart plans No Brand collaboration in Seoul

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Emart plans No Brand collaboration in Seoul

Emart’s collaborative project to partner No Brand stores with local markets is coming to Seoul for the first time, as the company signed an agreement with merchants and the Dongdaemun District Office on Wednesday.

This is the discount chain’s fifth partnership with a local market. Its first site in Seoul will be Gyeongdong Market in Dongdaemun District, eastern Seoul. The previous sites for the project were in more rural locations, with the exception of one in Anseong, Gyeonggi.

The Seoul store will open on the second floor of New Market - one of three commercial buildings in the market.

The company explained in a statement that the suggestion for the project came from the district office and Gyeongdong Market, who had seen previous No Brand collaborations pull in more consumers to local markets.

Established in 1960, Gyeongdong Market is one of the biggest of its kind in Seoul with over 730 stores and three buildings. The site still attracts an average of 70,000 visitors a day. It is also renowned for its wide array of medicinal herbs, making it an attractive shopping place for the elderly. However, it is struggling to pull in younger visitors.

According to Gyeongdong Market’s merchant association, around 10 percent of the entire market is currently vacant. The percentage of empty units is much higher on the second and third floors of the buildings. The New Market, where No Brand will open shop, has 190 stores on the second and third floors.

Emart’s strategy is to make use of the second and third floors to attract younger consumers. Expected to be 430 square meters (4,628 square feet) in size, the No Brand store will offer daily necessities and instant food from the in-house label. Products that make up a large part of local merchants’ revenue - fresh food, alcohol and cigarettes - will not be sold in the No Brand store.

The discount chain will also install playgrounds and rest areas next to the store to attract parents to visit with their children.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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