Shinsegae to open another all-in-one shopping complex near Seoul next week

GOYANG, South Korea-- South Korean retail giant Shinsegae said Thursday it will open another shopping mall on the northern outskirts of Seoul next week, as it aims to revitalize its offline shopping channels in the face of tougher competition with online malls.

Startfield Goyang, a four-story building with two underground floors covering an area spanning 364,000 square meters in the city of the same name, will open Aug. 24, the retailer said.

"Our strongest competitor at the moment is online malls," said Lim Young-lock, chief of Shinsegae Property, the group's property development unit, during a press conference held at the mall. "We focused on bringing more people out to our mall."

Online shopping has been showing a growth surge, accounting for 19 percent of overall retail sales in the first quarter of this year with 18.21 trillion won (US$16 billion), according to government data. It was a 19.6-percent on-year leap and the largest proportion ever.

The new complex, the third of its kind, is equipped with more than 560 brand shops, along with over 100 restaurants, as well as the group's warehouse-style supermarket E-Mart Traders and other places for leisure activities, including the water park Aquafield.

In order to attract more consumers, the company increased the percentage of area dedicated to services other than product sales, such as restaurants and entertainment facilities, from 20 percent at its first Starfield store in Hanam, southeast of Seoul, to 30 percent at the new mall.

"We have put extra focus on providing catered facilities and services for visitors with kids as Goyang is one of the youngest cities in the country with high population of people in their 30s and 40s," Lim said.

A weeklong pre-open event began Thursday, the retailer said.

In September 2016, Shinsegae opened the country's largest shopping theme park in Hanam which gathered more than 10 million visitors in the first five months after opening. It is expected to post 850 billion won in sales in its first year, slightly higher than the 820 billion won originally targeted, Lim said.

Shinsegae expects the new shopping complex in Goyang to rack up 650 billion won in sales in the first year, with the three Starfields, including one in the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul, to chalk up a combined 1.8 trillion won of revenue next year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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