Shinsegae’s new upscale SSG Food Market in Seoul

Emart hypermarkets, the leading business of South Korean retailer Shinsegae group, has opened a premium fusion supermarket and food hall concept, SSG Food Market.

A reinvention of its Star Super brand, the new venue in Dogok, Seoul has been redesigned by Landini Associates at every customer touchpoint, including the built environment, naming and identity, furniture and fixtures, signage and communications, ticketing, menus, points of sale, advertising style guides, packaging and uniforms.

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“SSG is smashing its targets and it just goes to show what can be achieved by a client with tenacity and vision that allows one design team to cohesively influence every aspect of the customer experience”, said creative director of Landini Associates Mark Landini. “We loved every minute of our collaboration”.

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The result is a 4000sqm modern market where locals can do a daily or weekly shop, or dine in with friends at one of the many in-store restaurants and cafes. The basement site is located below two high-end residential apartment buildings, which visitors can enter from a sunken courtyard on street level or via an internal car park.

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Attracting a newer younger audience whilst rewarding its existing base, the SSG Food Market is designed as a community epicentre to meet, eat and shop in throughout the day.

“The SSG project was a transformation of customers’ shopping habits”, said Brian Kim, head of MD strategy for Emart. “Through our new store design, refurbished brand identity, well-curated products, and F&B mix, we have made SSG a place for every-day shopping as well as social gathering. We were able to achieve this with Landini, whose extensive experience in food and grocery helped Emart come up with creative solutions.”

The reinvention has upscaled the existing food and beverage offer to include an extensive fresh department, ‘veggie butcher’ serving house-made salads and juices, take-home meals, Korean deli, bakery (run by hip San Francisco brand Tartine), fishmonger, butcher, Korean traditional street food, cafe, 200-seat restaurant, sushi restaurant, specialist cheesemaker section, western charcuterie, wine and beer department, coffee roastery, dry goods, florist and homewares.

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The offer is made up of both SSG-run departments, franchises (such as Starbucks) and third-party retailers.

Specialist departments are visible across the restaurant’s open kitchen. All the production is exposed, and chefs work in glazed pavilions serviced by counters showcasing this theatre whilst customers order. There are also take-home meals in the Korean deli prepared daily in its kitchen, or fresh fish and meat cooked to order at the grill, to take home or eat in.


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