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More men shop Korean department stores

Department stores were once considered the ‘exclusive domain of women’ in many Asian countries.

However, in Korea the ranks of men who enjoy shopping at luxurious stores are increasing.

In addition, as more women are turning to overseas direct purchases or online shopping malls, Korea’s retail giants are attracting male shoppers by increasing hobby supplies and custom-made suits.

According to Lotte Department Store, the proportion of male shoppers increased to 27 per cent this year, up four percentage points from 2010. Compared to the 26 per cent recorded at the end of last year, it rose by one percentage point in just three months. Sales of accessories for men more than doubled over the past five years.

The Korean department store attributed the increase in male shoppers to a surge in male interest for cosmetics and clothes, as well as a renewed focus on enjoying hobbies and leisure activities.

To cater to a growing number of male shoppers, the retailer has introduced stores that specialize in male apparel and accessories.

Lotte opened “Curiosity of Renoma,” a hobby shop selling selected kidult products last December at its premium outlet in Gwangmyeong, and the shop is selling 150 million won worth of products monthly. At its Avenuel World Tower branch, it set up a camera shop named ‘el Camera’ selling cameras and related accessories to attract male shoppers interested in photography.

Meanwhile, at its Jamsil branch, it opened a custom-made suit shop called “IFG”, which offers various suits priced from 300,000 won to 1,500,000, won and targets male shoppers aged 30 to 60.

An official at Lotte said: “We plan to continue to expand stores specialising in products for men since we believe their potential buying power is huge.”

Original reporting by M. H. Lee.

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