It has been bothering me since about the time it has been instigated. It’s a simple thing that shouldn’t really get me agitated as it has very little effect on me, and in many respects it is a good principal to take. It’s just that I think it’s the wrong step and I don’t think it really solves any problems, only encourages more populist resolutions to complicated social and economic problems.
What am talking about? Sunday closing for the so-called discount stores in Korea.
Now lets establish some terminology first.
“Discount stores” are what major supermarket chains are called in Korea. These include E-Mart (part of Shinsaegae international), Homeplus (owned by Tesco, the second largest supermarket company in the world), and Lotte Mart, which are the biggest ones.
A year ago, HomePlus created “virtual stores" in the Subway. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this video for more information. Pictured above is me checking out their competitor, E-Mart’s, version.
Before I came to Korea to teach, I was like anybody else in my situation. I read every imaginable article and blog, and watched ALL the videos on YouTube. One of the big topics I often wondered about was how much groceries and toiletries would cost. Well, it's been one full year that I've been teaching in Korea and I have a good idea of what and where to buy the things I like and need. It differs for everyone, but for my needs I have certain shopping habits now based on availability, price, convenience, etc. Here's a list of prices for some of the items I buy and what may be interesting to you. They are based on the two main stores I shop for groceries and toiletries at - HomePlus and Costco. HomePlus is one of the major chain retail stores in Korea. It's very similar to target, but on a smaller scale.
Topics: The effect of the U.S. credit downgrade and global economic downturn on Korea, SC First Bank and Hanjin Union issues, HomePlus/Tesco Success, Samsung's pass on Android, & Korea's sodium standing
Produced bySteven Bammel and hosted by Tom Tucker.
August 9, 2011The Korea Business Interview Series
Tom Brown "Homeplus: Tesco’s Success Story on Entering the Korean Market"
Tom Brown is Site Research Director at Homeplus Korea, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesco of the UK.
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Tesco’s entry into the Korean market contains valuable lessons for anyone doing or wishing to do business in Korea. While other foreign brands like Wal-Mart and Carrefour have failed, Tesco’s Korean brand, Homeplus, is moving from strength to strength as it closes the gap with the market leader, E-mart.
This interview covers many fascinating aspects of the Homeplus story in Korea. From its early partnership with Samsung, to an extraordinary level of office culture localization, as well as matching uniqueness of the Korean consumer market, Tesco and Homeplus have achieved an amazing success.
Tom Brown has been with Tesco in Asia during this time, both in Korea and China, leading the company’s efforts to locate new stores. His insider perspective leaves us with many valuable insights about business in Korea (and even a little about business in China!).
This interview is a “must-listen” for anyone with an interest in business in Korea.