Korean retailers flocking to Vietnam while Park Hang-seo magic is hot

2019.01.09 14:21:25 | 2019.01.09 14:21:56

[Photo by Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co.]이미지 확대

[Photo by Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co.]

Korean retailers are rushing to Vietnam for a lucrative revenue source in the Southeast Asian country where the economy backed by its 97 million population is sizzling with an almost 7 percent annual growth rate at a time popularity of Korean brands is at its height amidst the so-called Park Hang-seo magic with the national football team in its winning streak under a Korean coach.

GS Home Shopping Inc., one of the leading home shopping operators in Korea, announced Tuesday it has invested $3 million in Vietnamese e-commerce startup Leflair, which sells fashion items, foods and home appliances of foreign brands. The startup is already popular among middle-class consumers in the country with high product quality and promotional events.

It is the first non-U.S. startup that the Korean retailer has teamed up.

GS Home Shopping expects the partnership with Leflair would help it tap deeper into the Vietnamese e-commerce market. To speed up its expansion in the Vietnamese retail market, GS Home Shopping has joined hands with U.S.-based venture fund 500 Startups and is planning to run the fund’s accelerator program dubbed “the Saola Accelerator” in Vietnam starting from March.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. on the same day said it has opened its exclusive offshore bar “K-pub Chum Churum” in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi, Vietnam, as part of its outreach campaign with its best-selling soju label Chum Churum. It plans to offer Korean foods also at the pub with various promotional events like a tasting event to enhance its brand awareness.

Chum Churum is Lotte Chilsung’s flagship distilled rice liquor, which ranked the world’s seventh-biggest spirit brand as of August last year, according to United Kingdom-based International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) magazine.

Soju is becoming more popular in Vietnam along with other Korean foods and products after the staggering winning streak of the Vietnamese national football team, an underdog that has transformed into one of the strongest in Asia under Korean national coach Park Hang-seo.

CJ ENM’s O Shopping division also opened Asia’s largest video commerce (v-commerce) content production center called Dada Studio Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh in July. It is aiming to groom the center as the world-class digital content studio company. The center is expected to produce 1,000 pieces of v-commerce content every month once it is fully operational in the first half.

By Kim Gi-jung and Lee Ha-yeon

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