Emart’s new container store offers boxes galore

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Emart’s new container store offers boxes galore


A computer-generated image of the Life Container store at the Starfield Goyang in Gyeonggi. [EMART]

Emart opened a store specializing in storage and organization products at the Starfield Goyang mall in Gyeonggi on Thursday.

Called Life Container, the store sells 3,500 products for organizing objects around the home. The selection includes foreign brands like Curver from the Netherlands and Decor from Australia. The space includes showrooms that will demonstrate how products can be used in different rooms, including bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and offices.

The business model is similar to The Container Store in the United States, which started in 1978 and now has 90 stores around the country.

With its latest venture, Emart is banking on rising demand from single-person households, which tend to have smaller spaces and require furniture and boxes that efficiently store belongings.

Data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport shows that the average space in a single-person household in Korea measures 48.6 square meters (523.1 square feet), about a third of the U.S. average.

Another problem Koreans face is the rising cost of rent in cities that have large proportions of young people living alone.

“Home prices are rising and so is the demand for efficient space management,” said Ahn Hye-seon, senior vice president for lifestyle goods at Emart. “We believe the sector for home organizing products can form a market of its own apart from home furniture.”

Emart said 70 percent of purchases in storage goods have traditionally been in hangers and boxes, but recent analysis of its sales show people are buying more diverse organizational goods, including clothes racks and plastic trays for wardrobes.

Emart plans to open two more Life Container stores at the Starfield Hanam in Gyeonggi and Starfield COEX in southern Seoul next year.

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