NEW YORK (4/4/2011)-With the first phase of its design unveiled late last year, CBX, the strategic branding and retail design consultancy headquartered here, today announced that its Seoul, South Korea-based JMCBX Division is working towards the completion of the second phase of the new 495,900-square-foot Shinsegae department store in Cheonan, South Korea.
The 287,900-square-foot East wing opened in December 2010 on the site formerly occupied by a Galleria department store. This phase also included a 14,300-square-foot rooftop garden. The 193,700-square-foot West wing, expected to open in the second half of 2011, will debut in what had been a Yawoori department store. The project was made possible through a management agreement with Arario, owner of Yawoori, a local department store retailer that established an alliance with Shinsegae in January 2010.
Through the alliance with Arario, the new store marks Shinsegae Group’s entry into this growing city, approximately 50 miles south of Seoul in the province of Chungcheong Nam Do. Including this newest location, the company operates nine namesake department stores as well as 151 E-Mart hypermarkets in Korea and China. A separate E-Mart opened in the basement level of the Chungcheong store building’s west and east wings in late-December.
Shinsegae is known for many innovations, from creating Korea’s first department store in 1930, to being the first to accept credit cards in that country as well as the first to sign partnerships with foreign brands. The company again made Korean retailing history in 2006 when it co-located a Shinsegae department store and E-Mart hypermarket in the city of Gwangju. In 2009, Shinsegae unveiled its 3.16-million-square-foot Centum City flagship in Busan. Surpassing Macy’s Herald Square (2.14 million square feet) to claim the mantle as the world’s largest department store, the Centum City location was designed to attract tourists from around the world with high-level amenities, merchandise and entertainment options-successfully fusing culture and retailing in a shopping mall resort concept. The project includes boutiques for luxury brands such as Chanel, Georgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Tiffany as well as a cineplex, ice-skating rink, food halls, cultural performance hall, and art gallery. Customer amenities include a concierge and valet parking, along with plazas and water features where families and friends can gather.
Work on the first phase of the new store, located in Cheonan’s Shinbu-dong central business district, began in March 2010. Working together, JMCBX and CBX designed the architectural envelope for all merchandise areas; designed all public areas and customer amenities; and directed the total design of certain multi-branded departments, including fixtures and overall environment. In addition, the firm handled traffic circulation and departmental adjacency planning, lighting and visual merchandising for the sprawling store spread among multiple buildings and levels, including new passageways that will seamlessly connect selling areas divided into East and West wings.
“While the design of the Chungcheong store is different from Shinsegae’s Centum City flagship, it is consistent with the company’s established minimal aesthetic,” said Joseph Bona, President of CBX’s Retail Division.
Shinsegae’s signature refined and restrained use of natural materials – wood, metal, stone and deeply piled carpets – is evident on each floor of the six-floor East wing, which houses cosmetics, and apparel for men, women and children on the first four levels. Upper floors are home to a day spa, the Culture Hall, art gallery and restaurants. A central atrium defines the East wing as does the abundance of light made possible by skylights and an energy efficient lighting plan combining LED, metal halide and fluorescent sources. Vaulted ceilings as well as generous traffic aisles contribute to the overall feeling of spaciousness.
Upon entering the store’s first floor, customers take in a calming color palette that ranges from cool ebony and gray tones to warm hues of cream and bright whites. These colors are found on polished and raw stones as well as a variety of wood species making their way on walls, floors, furnishings and fixturing.
In addition to selling areas filled with luxury goods, the team headed by Peter Burgoyne, Retail Division Creative Director, designed indoor and outdoor common areas to appeal to customers of all ages and incomes. “The special amenities found inside the Chungcheong store, such as the Culture Hall, rooftop garden and VIP lounges, are more in keeping with features found at private country clubs in the United States,” said Burgoyne.
For example, marble flooring and comfortable seating are among the luxury treatments that can be found in private areas such as customer restrooms and VIP lounges. The Culture Hall has been designed to accommodate events ranging from performances to wedding receptions and trunk shows.
Led locally by Seoul-based Managing Director Joon Kyu Whang, the JMCBX/CBX team contributed to the East wing’s aesthetics and amenities from top to bottom through the design of a rooftop garden as well as a valet parking drop-off zone found underground. In addition to easy access for shoppers arriving by car or on foot, the store offers a direct connection to Cheonan’s bustling main bus terminal.
“The team we assembled for this project represents decades of department store design expertise from around the world,” said Bona. “These are architects, designers, planners and project managers who have studied best-in-class department store retailing over their considerable professional design careers. We’re excited to have them apply their skills to Shinsegae’s newest store. As department stores remain strong in Korea, we believe Shinsegae will be well positioned in the increasingly competitive Cheonan market. Through great merchandising and great design, they should capture a healthy cross-section of the city’s customer base, including young shoppers looking for the latest trends as well as adults looking for the latest in high end fashion.”
Notably, key members of the firm’s Shinsegae design team also completed earlier projects for the retailer. Burgoyne led the planning and design team responsible for the Centum City store while with another consulting firm. Whang, who has earlier ties to the Korean department store operator, serves as the lead contact on the Chungcheong project. In this capacity, he was instrumental in the entire project’s design direction and acted as the key liaison between the firm’s New York and Seoul offices in adapting global design standards to the local Korean market, providing hands-on, day-to-day client management and coordination.
“We’re very pleased to be working with Shinsegae on this important project,” said Whang. “With this new store in Cheonan, Shinsegae will now compete with the country’s other luxury merchants in a new environment designed especially for this market’s more affluent and aspirational customers, with all the amenities they expect and require. We also have an opportunity to engage younger customers through appealing public spaces and the latest trend merchandise.”
About Shinsegae Group:
Shinsegae has been at the forefront of Korea’s retail industry, introducing the country’s first department store in 1930, its first hypermarket in 1993 and the first premium outlet mall. Shinsegae Group today operates a network of nine Shinsegae department stores and 127 E-Marts stores in Korea, as well as 24 E-Mart stores in Shanghai and Tianjin, China. With 10 affiliates in retail support services, Shinsegae Group, a public company, also has operating joint ventures with Starbucks Coffee Co. as well as Chelsea Property, the world’s number-one developer of premium outlet shopping centers. In addition, Shinsegae Group is involved in hotel, construction, food service, information and communication businesses. As of 2009, Shinsegae Group’s total sales of 15 trillion KRW ($15 billion USD), makes it the 16th largest business group in Korea. Shinsegae is accelerating its growth with the aim to be among the world’s top 10 retailers by 2012.
About Arario Corporation:
ARARIO was launched in 1986 as a transportation service business, and subsequently developed a cultural hub in the heart of Cheonan City, Chungcheng Nam Do, Korea. In addition to its bus terminal, the company today operates a state-of-the-art multiplex cinema, high-quality food service outlets and a gallery focusing on modern art from around the world-including works of renowned artists from Cheonan, Seoul, Beijing and New York. In December 2010, ARARIO expanded its offerings in the city to include fashion, opening the Shinsegae Chungcheong department store in partnership with Shinsegae, which leads Korea’s retail industry.