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Large Stores Compete with Convenient Facilities for Families

Large Stores Compete with Convenient Facilities for Families

Posted August. 13, 2005 03:06,   


“Play with the kids here. I’ll come back after finishing my shopping.”

The “Daddy and Kids Lounge” opened on August 7 at the Shinchon branch of the Hyundai Department Store. It is equipped with a ball pool and books for children and fathers to make it possible for them to play together.

With a family-centered lifestyle spreading, the distribution industry is increasingly establishing convenient facilities for families.

In particular, since the spreading of five-day workweek, distributors are competing with one another to retain their customers.

Increasing Convenient Facilities for Families-

Lotte department store opened a 50-pyeong “Kids Café” on August 8 on the seventh floor of its head office in Seoul. It is not a simple lounge but includes a beauty salon for children and a café for parents.

The department store removed toy outlets which posted 150 million won in monthly average sales to secure the space.

On the seventh floor of new building of Shinsegae department store head office in Seoul, which opened on August 10, there is a lounge for men complete with skin care center.

On the ninth floor of the Hyundai department store’s Bucheon Jungdong branch in Gyeonggi province, there is a “book café” for men. Staff is deployed there to help men and children. The book café boasts some 3,000 books, including comic books and various magazines.

The Hyundai department store’s Mokdong branch is useful for shoppers who like sports. You can enjoy sports games, including soccer and baseball, on a large screen in “INPLAY,” a sports theme café.

“Enoteca,” a wine bar on the B1 floor of the East wing of Galleria Luxury Mall is a good place for you to read books with a glass of wine.

The entire 10th floor of the Bucheon branch of GS Square is a family space. The children’s playground there has space for birthday parties. You can also use its paid catering service.

The trend is demonstrating itself beyond department stores to outlets and discount stores.

The Hwajeong branch of Save Zone, an outlet, has opened “Dad’s lounge” on its fifth floor. Fathers can use the Internet or a big-screen TV while leaving their children in the care facility on the same floor.

Family Restrooms-

As the number of husbands taking care of children increases, restrooms are transformed.

Some stores of Lotte Mart have installed a board for diaper changes in men’s’ restrooms to help fathers with infants.

There is “family restroom” in Wal-Mart. The restroom has toilets for adults and children in the same place so that fathers can care for their daughters who want to go to the bathroom. Wal-Mart is planning to increase the number of such restrooms.

A sales planning team deputy general manager of Hyundai department store’s Jungdong branch said, “We set up convenient facilities for families, including a book café, by taking hints from department stores of advanced countries, such as Germany and the U.K.,” adding, “Satisfaction is greater among women who became able to freely use their shopping time than among men and children who are the users of such facilities.”

Jin-Suk Huh jameshuh@donga.com