25 August 2021
The Weekly
South Korea

Lotte Department Store opened a new branch in Dongtan in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, its first branch in seven years. Four renowned interior designers collaborated on the concept of ‘communication with nature’: Lotte designed ‘the Terrace’, a 3’300m2 healing space connected to the third floor of the department store, introducing the first hybrid format of in and outdoor shopping mall; various architects collaborated on the interior design under the concept of ‘biophilia’. In the first three days of activity, 120’000 customers spent KRW2.6bn (US$ 2.2mn).

The new department store offers around 600 fashion brands, including Saint Laurent, Fendi and Balenciaga, and has a cinema and a park as well as beauty brands like Chanel Boutique, Dior and Gucci Beauty. As the time spent at home increased due to the impact of COVID-19, the focus was on meeting the demand for premium living, targeting customers who were interested in decorating their residential areas. The Conran Shop’s second store in Korea opened on the first floor and many luxurious furniture brands (Molteni&C, Fritz Hansen, Maison Archive) are located on the 6th floor.

With a goal to provide a space ‘where people want to stay,’ more than 50% of the 246,000m2 (2.6mn sq ft) has areas where people can experience entertainment and enjoy culture. The new branch is making more than a hundred artworks available throughout the department store and offering media art that features the works and life of Leonardo da Vinci. Artworks available includes 8 meter-high (26 feet) ‘In the Studio, December 2017’ by British artist David Hockney and ‘Pentateuque’ by Fabien Merelle. People can listen to the explanations about each of the artworks by scanning a QR code next to it. Since many newlyweds live in Dongtan, the Lotte department store paid particular attention to the kids’ section, and a kid’s café and cosmetics shop for kids are available. 

Nearly 30% of the department store’s gross area has been dedicated to 100 food and beverage stores, including those run by influencers. New content will be continuously added following the opening. Used in-store technology is available to help customers shop securely during the COVID19 crisis: ‘Air Pure Gates’ are located in every entrance, no touch needed elevator buttons are installed and AI quarantine robots are strolling around the store. In the first three days of activity, 120’000 customers spent 2.6bn KRW. The Dongtan branch is projected to generate more than KRW 500bn ($430mn) in sales annually.

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