South Korea’s department stores scramble for better products | Retail Asia
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South Korea’s department stores scramble for better products

The rapid rise of online shopping has weakened their status amongst SMEs.

South Korea’s major department stores are moving heaven and earth to procure better products, as many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that were once begging department stores to sell their products are now shifting to online platforms, Korea Bizwire reported.

A Hyundai Department Store buyer recently succeeded in attracting a restaurant franchise run by a YouTuber after visiting a rural area in Hongcheon County more than five times since last summer and waiting until filming had finished for the day to attempt to persuade him.

Meanwhile, buyers from Lotte Department Store’s Gwangbok Branch in Busan ran back and forth through Jagalchi Market to sell fish through a live broadcast.

A buyer from Shinsegae Department Store who has more than 20 years of experience in purchasing livestock products recently acquired a license to directly participate in the bidding.

The change in the attitude of the once hard-nosed buyers came after the status of department stores has weakened due to the rapid growth of the online shopping market.

“As e-commerce operators are dealing with an increasing number of premium products, the conventional perception that e-commerce platforms sell cheap and popular items while department stores sell expensive and premium products no longer holds,” Korea Bizwire said.

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