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E-mart, SM Entertainment launch private brand

E-mart on Wednesday launched a private brand inspired by the artistes of SM Entertainment, one of Korea’s most influential showbiz agencies.

E-mart, which is run by the Shinsegae Group, is the country’s largest discount store chain.

The “SM X E-mart” collection comprises of 14 food items endorsed by SM Entertainment’s artistes.

This includes jjamppong, which is spicy noodle soup, and jjajangmyeon, which are noodles in black soy bean sauce, endorsed by EXO. There are popcorn items endorsed by Super Junior, Girls’ Generation and TVXQ, and sparkling water endorsed by SHINee and Red Velvet.

E-mart handled the manufacturing and distribution of these products through its private brand Peacock while SM handled the product development and marketing.

“This collaboration is a completely different project from anything in Korea. This creates a synergy between a platform company and a content-driven company to inspire one another,” said Jang Young-jin, a marketing executive at E-mart.

E-mart has in the pat met with some challenges in its overseas operations. The company had to shut down 20 stores in China and currently has just eight stores left there. It seems to be trying its luck once again, this time by riding on the hallyu wave.

“We are hoping that E-mart will become a must-visit spot among hallyu fans. They can make good memories with their favorite stars and purchase good Korean foods at the same time,” an E-Mart spokesman said.

E-mart’s parent company Shinsegae Group announced that it would be investing 4.1 trillion won ($3.3 billion) to reinforcing infrastructure, new shops and platforms this year.

Meanwhile, E-mart has been enthusiastic about finding new engines for growth.

The company has launched a series of private brands, including No Brand and Peacock. It has also invited Hyundai Card to design some of its kitchen accessories.

“We believe creating a one-and-only experience for shoppers is the way to beat the online stores and other competitors,” an E-mart insider told The Korea Herald.

SM Entertainment has been promoting hallyu through merchandise and other platforms. It collaborated with Lotte to create a SM Zone in Lotte Department Store in central Seoul, and another zone in Coex of southern Seoul. It also runs an SUM convenient store inside its headquarters. The company also established SM F&B to run the SMT Seoul cafe in southern Seoul. The collaborative goods between E-mart and SM Entertainment will be available at SUM.

“We are also seeking ways to go overseas, and we will expand our collaboration,” an E-mart spokesman said.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

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