Photo: Shinsegae Department Store in Gangnam. Credit: Shinsegae.
With the economy roaring (at least for the top tier) and international travel blocked because of the pandemic, South Koreans went luxury shopping with vengeance.
In 2021, the Gangnam branch of Shinsegae Department Store 신세계 백화점 grossed over USD 2b, topping the long-time champion Harrods of London as the highest grossing single store in the world - a particularly impressive result considering the lack of Chinese tourists to Seoul, known for their appetite for luxury goods.
Shinsegae’s sales were buoyed by luxury brands like Gucci, Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton; from July to August 2021, the Gangnam location of Shinsegae devoted five floors to a Louis Vuitton pop-up store.