Magazines Archives - 2008 February
Taubman Asia set to revolutionise Korean retail scene
TAUBMAN ASIA, a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of US retail developer Taubman Centers Inc, is set to challenge the South Korean retail scene with its two-storey mega mall in the Songdo International Business District (IBD) being developed in Incheon.
Called the Songdo International City, and labelled the gateway of Northeast Asia, the 1,500-acre IBD is a joint venture between US real-estate developer Gale International and Korean
steel company POSCO Engineering & Construction Co Ltd.
[Taubman Asias mall in the IBD] will provide Korean consumers with an alternative experience to the standard department store, [which] lacks space, leisure facilities and amenities, Morgan
Parker, president of Taubman Asia, told the local media.
Designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, it will include unconventional features, breaking down 30-50 years of Korean retail history. Parker said: South Korea is an interesting market because there are over 50 million people and no real shopping centres to speak of.
Koreans, he said, are well educated, well travelled and increasingly sophisticated shoppers in terms of fashion and food but there is a dichotomy between this sophistication, along with the growth desire of Korean retailers, and the provision of retail venues for [the retailers] to expand into, for people to shop in.
The 105,000sqm mall will house retail and entertainment facilities, such as a 10-screen multiplex cinema and an ice-skating rink, which can also be used as an entertainment venue. It will also
feature about 250 international and local brands, which will be imported directly from manufacturers abroad, so that prices remain reasonable for Korean shoppers.
It is true that in this part of the world, shopping centres take on a very large entertainment role in society. Unlike Europe, Australia or the US, the Asian shopping centre takes on a heightened
role as a place where families and friends come together and spend the whole day, so the offer that you create takes on added significance, noted Parker.