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Shinsegae opens giant mall

Korea’s Shinsegae Group is about to open a massive shopping centre northwest of Seoul which it hopes will take the fight to Ikea for homewares shopping.

Shinsegae, one of the country’s largest department store operators, will open E-Mart Town on June 18, on a site adjacent to the Kintex convention centre in Ilsan, in the Gyeonggi province.

The company is banking on Seoul residents heading out to the centre for a day’s shopping, dining and entertainment – a major drawcard being carparking, which consumers have to queue for in downtown destinations.

E-Mart Town, said to be the size of about 10 football fields, will stock furniture, home appliances, homewares, groceries and food. It will feature an E-Mart supermarket and a wholesale warehouse.

Shinsegae believes three branded retail areas will create a point of difference from its rivals: an upmarket foodcourt called Peacock Kitchen featuring 14 food brands and seating for 300 people; home furnishing store The Life offering some 5000 products; and multi-brand appliance store Electro Mart.

“We have put all our resources into the mall in order to set a new trend in retail business,” said Shinsegae vice chairman Chung Yong-jin in a statement.

“The E-Mart Town is a cluster of trend-setting stores and good restaurants. People will be able to have a high-quality one-stop shopping experience in the town.”

Ilan is set to be a battlefield for major retailers, with Ikea planning to open its second Korea store there in 2017, and Shinsegae’s rivals Lotte, Tesco Home Plus, Lotte Big Market, Costco and Hyundai Department Store all within a short drive.

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