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Boots Korea launches at Starfield Hanam complex

E-mart has unveiled its first Boots Korea store at its Starfield Hanam shopping complex in Hanam, Gyeonggi province.

Combining the global sourcing power of the UK firm and E-mart’s distribution network, the brand will offer a differentiated model tailored to the needs of Korean customers, says Boots unit VP Chung Jun-ho. It seeks to position itself as a premium beauty and pharma store with a heavy focus on cosmetics.

Boots will open a flagship store in Seoul’s Myeong-dong downtown shopping district in July and plans to open more outlets in the second half.

It is a challenge to CJ Group’s Olive Young, which dominates Korea’s 1.2-trillion-won (US$1.06 billion) health-and-beauty industry with 800 branches. GS Retail’s Watsons Korea has about 130 stores and will open up to 40 more this year. Lotte Shopping has about 90 and plans to add 35.

The market doubled from 632 billion won in 2013, and E-mart estimates it will pass the 3-trillion-won mark in less than five years.

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