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7-Eleven Selling Luxury Items in Korea

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2011 10:07 AM

Residents of Korea are moving on up and want a piece of the pie. And 7-Eleven would like to help them out.

The luxury goods market is booming in Korea, with sales growing “at least 12% to an estimated $4.5 million last year, according to a report by McKinsey & Company in August,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

With that kind of money floating around, everybody is getting into the act of selling luxury goods, even places that you don’t generally associate with such things, like 7-Eleven.

Seoul's home of the Slurpee tested the sale of luxury goods during the Korean thanksgiving holiday in September by offering eight lines of Gucci goods at its stores there, the Journal reports. Now the chain is figuring out what other luxury goods it should offer for a limited time.

“Having spotted a trend that the public are embracing more luxury goods than ever before, we wanted to make them more easily accessible,” said Cho Yun-jung, a spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, according to the Journal.

Of course, 7-Eleven isn’t alone. Other retailers that aren’t exactly known for selling high-end items are also getting into the market in Korea as well, including Homeplus, a supermarket chain owned by U.K. retailer Tesco that tested an in-subway virtual store.

“We see a change of perception among customers that a big supermarket can be a one-stop shopping destination where you can buy not only necessities but also luxury products,” said Jun Sang-kyun, an official at Homeplus, the Journal reports. “There’s increasing demand among our customers for high-end goods.”


Dan T. United States says:

I am somewhat surprised that high end goods manufacturers want to be sold in these mass market stores.  Obviously different markets offer different opportunities.

December 20, 2011 08:15 AM #

Mike United States says:

I agree with Dan.  I  think the bigger story here is that Gucci would actually allow it's products to be sold in  these stores.  I can hardly believe that!  I don't care that it's only being done in Korea, it makes me think less of the Gucci brand.

December 20, 2011 09:58 AM #

Robert Becker United States says:

“There’s increasing demand among our customers for high-end goods.”

Nothing wrong with that. I'm sure that some people who shop at Polo grab a sandwich at 7-Eleven. But why would they buy their "high-end goods" at 7-Eleven instead of going to luxury stores where merchandizing and service are premium?  

I agree with Mike's sentiment applied to this entire story: "I can hardly believe it!"

December 20, 2011 10:32 PM #

guillaume France says:

Premium service in a Louis Vuitton store for instance is part of the package for a customer that is attracted by luxury and act on purpose.

Of course Korean consumers might be different and cross communication as well could excuse a such strategy but I agree with you all, the gap seems to be too wide... is it a fail from a long term perspective regarding positioning and identity for 7-Eleven and more for Gucci?

December 21, 2011 08:40 AM #

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