South Korea’s retail giant Shinsegae Group is making efforts to have customers spend more time at its outlets by enhancing experiential and entertainment elements offline.
According to Shinsegae Group on Monday, Shinsegae Simon Co, operator of outlet stores, is introducing experimental events to consumers, such as installing sculptures of the popular jelly brand Haribo’s bear characters, decorating the outlets with a robot Gundam base, and organising test drive events.
Eight offline campaigns and pop-up store events were held so far this year, surpassing the previous year’s five events.
Shinsegae Group’s efforts to entice customer visits and increase their stay time with various attractions can contribute to higher customer loyalty in an era where products can be ordered online and through mobile devices.
The strategy leads to increased customer visits, which naturally stimulates consumption.
“Unlike e-commerce companies that consider speed and convenience as the core values of customer experience, creating a space where customers want to stay has become the ultimate goal for established retail companies,” said a retail industry official.
After undergoing renovation, Emart Inc.’s Yeonsu branch, which opened its doors in March, significantly reduced its store size from the original 12,500 square meters to 5,300 square meters.
Instead, the space was allocated to 82 tenant stores in various categories such as food and beverages, entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle.
Emart’s Wolgye branch, which revamped its structure from 80% Emart and 20% tenant stores to 30% Emart and 70% tenant stores in 2020, achieved the top spot in Emart’s total sales nationwide within two years.
Starbucks Korea’s strategy of opening stores in secluded places such as the entrance of Bukhansan Mountain hiking trails and the southern Han River in Yangpyeong is also ultimately linked to enhancing customer experiences.
While the previous strategy focused on opening stores in areas with high foot traffic to ensure stable sales, the new strategy is to establish so-called “destination stores” that target specific store visits as the purpose.
Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin does not limit retail business to mere sales activities. His philosophy extends to even acquiring a baseball team. He believes that by integrating the entertainment elements of sports with shopping, leisure, and cultural activities, he can capture customers’ time that cannot be obtained through online shopping malls.
The completion of Starfield Cheongna, a shopping, sports, and entertainment complex, scheduled for the end of 2027, is expected to create synergy with its baseball team SSG Landers. – Pulse Korea