Two of Korea’s conglomerates have officially launched their retail wine business in the country following their high-profile purchases of Napa vineyards to sate South Koreans’ growing thirst for wine.
According to The Korea Times, the country’s multinational conglomerate Doosan tapped into wine business last month with the opening of a large-scale wine bar called Tap Shop Bar inside its Doota Mall in central Seoul.
The company says it hopes to leverage growing popularity of wine consumption among younger consumers to revive its shopping mall business which took a hit during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, another conglomerate Hanwha Group which had just spent US$34 million to acquire Seven Stones winery in Napa Valley is also venturing into luxury wine business as it looks to wine exports for domestic market.
Korea’s wine market witnessed a wine boom during the pandemic, transforming from a wine wasteland to one of the most attractive wine markets in Asia. In 2021, the country imported a record US$560 million worth of wines, and in 2022 the value is projected to reach nearly 1 trillion won (US$801 million).
Last February, another Korean retail giant Shinsegae, which runs the country’s wine and liquor store Wine & More and its largest discount store chain Emart splurged US$250 million to buy Napa’s famous Shafer Vineyards.
The move as it explains is aimed to beef up its wine offerings and it will also use the winery to import premium North American wines for Korean market.
Another of the country’s large retailer Lotte Shopping opened a 1,322-square-meter special wine shop, Bottle Bunker, in Seoul in 2021. The company plans to open two more stores in Gwangju Metropolitan City and Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.