Large retail shops change consumers’ shopping pattern; E-Mart, Korea’s largest discount store chain, said its shop in Chang-dong located in the north part of Seoul, will mark its 20th anniversary

Large retail shops change consumers’ shopping pattern

Sohn Dong-woo, Lee Yu-jin

2013.11.08 16:35:00

E-Mart, Korea’s largest discount store chain, said Friday its shop in Chang-dong located in the north part of Seoul, will mark its 20th anniversary next Tuesday.
The 20-year-old retail shop and the advent of followers grew rapidly for a short period, changing the nation’s retail industry and consumers’ shopping practices completely. Large retail shops take up a significant part of Korea’s retail industry. Their market value reaches 38.8 trillion won ($36.44 billion), larger than that of department stores with 29.1 trillion won. The number of such shops amount to 470 in Korea and 627, including those outside Korea. A shift in the major consumer demographics from women to family members is probably the biggest impact of large retail shops. The target shopping time has also been changed from morning time in week days to afternoon on weekends.
“The rapid growth of large retail shops also reflects our societal change in which double-income households increased over the past two decades. The impact goes beyond the industry,” said Kim Joo-young, head of Korea Distribution Association.
The industry’s another achievement is their successful protection of the local market from foreign retailers.
Wal-Mart and Carrefour entered the Korean market in 1996 but the market was unequal to their competence.
In addition, retail shops have contributed to modernizing the distribution industry by introducing product barcodes, nationwide logistical system and competition for price reduction.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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