Type : Research
Project Team : Janghee Yoo, Namjoo Kim
What is so special of Korean department store?
From 70s to 90s, Korean economy soared up in an unprecedented speed.
As thick layer of upper middle class has emerged rapidly, people in this
socioeconomic stratum needed to differentiated themselves. Buying luxurious
goods from department store became a social phenomenon of showing one’s
power and social state.
According to Pamela Danziger in her book “Let them eat cake: marketing
luxury to the masses”, the change of socioeconomic environment has brought
new notion of luxury, NEW LUXURY. While the ‘old’ luxury was related to
the physical aspect, new luxury focuses more on the importance of feeling and
experience. For a question “what type of luxury makes you satisfied the most?”,
41% answered experiential luxury such as travel, and enjoying performance art.
31% said luxurious art piece, appliances, cookware, and 28% said high class car,
clothing, jewelry, and watch. Korean department stores had to reconsider their
strategy from the place of selling luxurious goods with the most efficient spatial
use to the place of selling an experience of luxurious life style.