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STORES | Staff Reporter, Korea
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South Korean department stores shift to culture spaces

They have been running exhibitions and galleries to offer more than shopping experience.

South Korean department stores have been on track to transform their outlets from shopping centers into culture spaces, amidst sluggish performance of their offline stores due to a shifting preference for online channels, Korea Bizwire reported.

For instance, Lotte Department Store started setting up experience-focused cultural facilities within its outlets across the country in 2019. Its flagship store in Jamsil, southern Seoul, is running a cultural space called 291 Photographs, hosting photo exhibitions and offering profile photograph services for professional writers, in addition to camera and book sales.

Hyundai Department Store has also built a cultural space at its Pangyo branch, south of Seoul. Under the concept of an "Art Museum" that focuses on installing sculptures and paintings on each floor of the store, Hyundai is turning its Pangyo store into a kind of art gallery.

Shinsegae Department Store has also been running professional galleries at its flagship location in Seoul and as well as stores in Busan, Gwangju and Daegu.

"As the shopping experience itself is becoming not enough to lure consumers, department store operators are looking for ways to differentiate themselves by transforming their stores into cultural attractions where visitors can enjoy not only shopping but also a variety of culture and art," the report stated.
 

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