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Starfield Hanam proves a success after one year

Sept 08,2017
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Shinsegae’s Starfield Hanam, which celebrates its first anniversary on Saturday. [SHINSEGAE]
Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin’s attempt to combine a shopping mall and a theme park has turned out to be a success, with Starfield Hanam celebrating its first birthday tomorrow.

Shinsegae said Thursday that visitors to Starfield Hanam stayed an average of 5.5 hours at the venue, whereas visitors to its discount chain Emart and department store brand Shinsegae only stay for an average of 1.5 hours and 2.5 hours, respectively.

Starfield, the brainchild of Chung, is an attempt to create a “shopping theme park” that offers more facilities that allow visitors to spend time with friends and family rather than just shopping. The move was Chung’s attempt to break a prolonged slump in the brick-and-mortar retail industry following the growing popularity of e-commerce.

Chung said he would “steal customers’ time instead of money” with the Starfield branches.

The Hanam branch, located just east of Seoul, is equipped with a two-story water park, recreational sports venue and a multiplex.

Starfield Hanam was also the site of Tesla’s first Korean showroom on top of other automotive-related stores such as Genesis, BMW, Harley-Davidson and Hyundai Motor’s electric car brand Ioniq.

“Starfield Hanam has set the paradigm of what’s called a shopping theme park where people can experience, relax and heal,” said Lim Young-lock, president of Shinsegae Property.

“It has achieved more than what we initially targeted,” he added.

During its first year, Starfield Hanam attracted a total of 25 million visitors as of August, with the number of visitors especially soaring during the summer period. The retailer said the number of visitors jumped by more than 10 percent in July and August compared to other months.

Of the total visitors, 85 percent were residents of Hanam, Gyeonggi. The remaining visitors came from all around the country, although people from Gangnam, southern Seoul, made up a quarter of the group.

To celebrate the first anniversary of the Starfield brand, a series of events will be held in all three of its locations - Hanam, COEX in Gangnam and Kintex in Goyang, Gyeonggi.

Starfield Hanam will hold a discount event with 200 of its stores offering up to 70 percent off products, the largest sale event since the mall opened. Starfield Coex will hold a range of cultural events, inviting novelist Kim Hong-shin and art historian Yoo Hong-jun to hold lectures. Starfield Goyang will offer a discount on its children’s play areas - Brick Live and Toy Kingdom Play.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]