Shinsegae Gangnam is first store to gross 2 trillion won

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Shinsegae Gangnam is first store to gross 2 trillion won

Shinsegae Department Store’s Gangnam branch in southern Seoul posted 2 trillion won ($1.80 billion) in sales last year.

It is the first time for a single department store branch to reach that figure in Korea. Its achievement comes nine years after the branch posted 1 trillion won in annual sales in 2010.

Shinsegae would not disclose the net profit of the branch.

The Gangnam branch is the largest department store in Seoul, with 86,500 square meters (931,078 square feet) of floor space.

Shinsegae said foreign visitors, drawn by the Korean Wave, were the key to its growth, with sales from foreigners at the Gangnam branch having increased 60 percent last year compared to 2018. Operations of the duty-free shop and premium hotel also helped.

Shinsegae said sales at the Gangnam branch grew 90 percent between June 2018, right before Shinsegae opened a duty-free store in the Gangnam area, and December last year.

Luxury item sales from foreigners at the Gangnam department store rose 200 percent from just before the opening of the duty-free and after. Reorganizing the store space also contributed to the sales growth.

Instead of selling diverse products from the same brand in a single space, Shinsegae reorganized to sell similar items in the same space regardless of the brands.

Customers, for instance, are able to view all sorts of pots from various brands without having to move around the floor.

A pop-up space filled with luxury house products at the Gangnam branch is another attractive feature that is driving the growth, according to Shinsegae. Sales of luxury items at that branch are four times higher than the average sales of its other branches.

“[Shinsegae] will continue to build the reputation [of the Gangnam branch] as the landmark department store that is visited by local and global trendsetters,” said Shinsegae Department Store CEO Cha Jeong-ho in a statement.

Harrods in London also achieved 2 trillion won in annual sales.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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