Shinsegae taking PK Market to US

Shinsegae will take its supermarket brand to the US in May next year, its vice-chairman Chung Yong-jin has announced.

The Korean retailer says it will also build a 30-storey centre to control the group’s e-commerce business at home.

During the group’s job fair in Seoul, Chung told reporters the company sought to open a PK Market store in the US. “We are about to sell Asian groceries that can attract American citizens.”

PK Market is Shinsegae’s premium grocery store, with just two outlets so far, at Starfields Hanam and Goyang in Gyeonggi Province.

Chung said the store will be in Los Angeles, and the group will seek to expand in the western US. The store will also likely include a restaurant.

“Unless we fix the timing of our US entry there could be delays,” he said. “We are carrying out preparations with the goal of opening the store in May of next year no matter what happens.

“We have experienced bitter failure in China and decided to focus on an advanced market where there are no limits to entering or withdrawing,” he said. The Australian and European markets are also on the radar.

Meanwhile domestically, Shinsegae will build a “landmark” centre in Hanam to control its online shopping businesses. E-Mart, Shinsegae’s core supermarket unit, has bought a 21,422sqm lot in Hanam for KRW97.2 billion (US$91.7 million).  

Shinsegae signed memoranda of understanding in January with two foreign investors on investments worth more than KRW1 trillion. It said it would restructure its online business by establishing a new corporate body to control online sales. Shinsegae also said it plans to separate its online mall as an independent company.

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