Retail in Asia


Retail spotlight: South Korea’s ‘pop-up capital’, Seongsu-dong

One of South Korea’s trendiest districts today, Seongsu-dong began cementing its status when it was tagged as the top Instagram location in 2022. 

Formerly an industrial area, the district has been called Seoul’s answer to New York’s Brooklyn. Streets lined with warehouses and factories have morphed into a vibrant playground, buzzing with contemporary fashion, beauty, art, and gastronomy.

With creative pop-up stores popping up almost every week, Seongsu-dong has quickly  become the location of choice for numerous brands across fashion and luxury looking to stage their next pop-up in Seoul. In 2023, Seongsu-dong was the site of Jacquemus’ Cafe Fleurs pop-up in Korea, among other activations.

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Seoul’s Seongsu neighbourhood seamlessly blends the old with the new, where retired brick factories have been reborn as vibrant centres of creativity. These former industrial spaces have been revitalised, preserving their historical charm while providing a fertile ground for artistic endeavors. Source: Shutterstock

With a plethora of world-renowned luxury brands, emerging local stores, and creative concept stores, in addition to a burgeoning cafe and restaurant scent, Seongsu-dong has become a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

Below, Retail in Asia visits some of the highlights elevating Seongsu’s retail scene.

Source: Nudake
Nudake Seongsu

An extension of South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster, fantastical dessert shop Nudake made waves with its expansion in the heart of Seongsu in 2022.

With its innovative creations and attention to detail, Nudake pushes the boundaries of traditional desserts, delivering a unique experience. Its dessert shop in Seongsu greets customers with an ambiance that sets the stage for Nudake’s experimental culinary delights. The flagship location marked Nudake’s fourth venture and its first exclusive flagship store, solidifying its position as a leader in the creative dessert scene.

Source: Dior/Yaro Studio
Dior Seongsu

Opened in May 2022 and welcoming visitors until May 2025, Dior’s long-term, 1,500-square-metre pop-boutique is housed within a sprawling building in a garden in Seongsu-dong, offering evolving menswear, womenswear and accessories collections in addition to Cafe Dior.

Reminiscent of Dior’s iconic Parisian facade on Avenue Montaigne, Dior Seongsu offers a polished incongruity to the rest of the district’s industrial feel while blending Korean and French design influences. Surrounding the building, a combination of Asian and European flora creates a lush oasis.

Source: Tamburins
Tamburins Flagship Store 

The Korean fragrance house, which has 14 stores including four flagship stores, opened its second flagship boutique in Seongsu-dong in November 2023, fashioning an abandoned-looking building to attract curiosity.

The Tamburins store is located on the building’s basement floor, creating a deep contrast with the Dior pop-up next door. Recently the brand launched eight new scents and perfume shapes at the flagship store.

Source: Tamburins
Ader Error Space

Ader Error is an innovative fashion destination that pushes the boundaries of contemporary style. The avant-garde concept store blends art, fashion, and culture, creating a dynamic space that exudes creativity and experimentation. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by a carefully curated selection of cutting-edge clothing, accessories, and lifestyle products, all showcasing Ader Error’s signature aesthetic – a fusion of bold colors, playful graphics, and unconventional silhouettes.

The store’s interior design reflects its  identity, featuring unconventional architectural elements that challenge traditional notions of retail space.

In this dynamic neighbourhood, the past and the present converge, creating a captivating atmosphere that celebrates the rich heritage of the area while embracing the contemporary spirit of creativity. Source: Shutterstock
Beaker Seongsu

Samsung Fashion, the fashion division of Samsung C&T, chose Seongsu-dong as the site for its third Beaker store, a multi-brand boutique, in 2022. The opening marked the first standalone store for Beaker since opening in Hannam-dong in 2012 and its subsequent Cheongdam-store opening in 2014. According to Samsung Fashion, Tae Jun Park, the head of real estate team, “After a series of thorough reviews, we decided to place the third store in Seongsu-dong, a favorite place for Generation MZ to gather. The district is very attractive to potential consumers and quite appropriate for testing unknown brands.”

Source: Beaker

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Amore Seongsu

Amore Seongsu immerses visitors in the world of beauty. South Korean beauty company Amorepacific designed this unique space to transcend the typical concept of a cosmetics store. It goes beyond merely selling beauty products and instead offers an experiential journey of makeup application and self-expression.

Source: Amorepacific

Aside from featuring an expansive range of 30 Amorepacific brands and 2,300 products, what sets Amore Seongsu apart are the exclusive services and experiences available, which includes a teaching service led by professional makeup artists, allowing visitors to perfect makeup techniques.