SARASOTA, Florida, June 29 (Korea Bizwire) – “I completely agree that shopping malls are now in competition with theme parks. We’re seeing this change in the United States, and I’m sure it applies to South Korea as well.”
Robert Taubman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers, a regional shopping mall management company based in the United States, held a press conference on Friday, June 24, at The Mall at University Town Center (UTC) in Sarasota, Florida.
“The trend of shopping behavior is changing in such a way that people prefer to stay in one place for shopping, eating, and entertainment. This “one-stop” kind of shopping mall has recently become popular in the U.S., and I believe South Korea can also adopt this new trend,” said Taubman.
Chung Yong-jin, vice-chairman of Shinsegae Department Store, has been suggesting that the company follow the latest trend of developing multipurpose shopping complexes as a model for Starfield Hanam, which will open in September. The retail industry has to compete against theme parks or baseball stadiums for leisure and entertainment activities, according to Chung.
Through a partnership with Taubman Centers, Starfield Hanam received 1 trillion won in investment, with 49 percent of the investment shares coming from Taubman Asia, a subsidiary of Taubman Centers headquartered in Hong Kong.
Many multipurpose shopping complexes managed by Taubman Centers actually accommodate attractions including aquariums, Legoland, movie theaters, and numerous restaurants.
Taubman stressed that Starfield Hanam will also provide a “one-stop” shopping and entertainment experience.
Taubman Centers, which was founded in 1950, currently either owns or manages 24 shopping malls in 30 different countries around the globe. Besides Starfield Hanam, it also manages the IFC mall in Yeouido.
“South Korea has so much potential for Taubman Centers. I’ve toured the Time Square and COEX shopping malls, and I realized that a western-style shopping mall would definitely attract many shoppers in Korea,” said Mr. Taubman. “I’m pretty confident that the western design of our company will introduce Korean people to a new type of adventure.”
“As a global brand, we didn’t have much opportunity in the Korean market as the country lacked American-style shopping malls. But Korean shoppers can now have easier access to imported brands and larger stores.”
Regarding its partnership with Shinsegae Group, Taubman explained that the two companies will collaborate to introduce a new kind of shopping experience through a western-style venue that concerns both environmental and individual aspects.
“Developing design elements that do not change over time has been our main goal, and it has become the industry standard. Unlike other large property management companies, who buy others’ shopping properties, we plan and develop our own shopping malls,” said Mr. Taubman.
Taubman Centers’ shopping malls have the highest revenue value per unit area.
The company brings in $790 per square foot of floor area, which is much higher than competitors Simon Malls’ at $613 and Macy-Rich’s at $625.
Shinsegae Group chose Taubman Centers as its partner for the Starfield Hanam project due to Taubman’s extensive experience in developing shopping complexes.
“The kind of shopping center is more important than the number of shopping centers that a company owns. With that regard, Starfield Hanam is an incredible achievement.”
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)