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Two business moguls behind Starfield's luxury drive

By KH디지털2
  • Published : Oct 13, 2016 - 17:42
  • Updated : Oct 28, 2016 - 14:43

[THE INVESTOR] Starfield Hanam, an enormous shopping and entertainment mall, has become the new hot spot in the past month.

Located in Hanam, Gyeonggi Province, southeast of Seoul, the shopping mall attracted more than 1.5 million visitors within 10 days of its Sept. 9 opening.

Equivalent to 70 soccer stadiums combined, the massive mall is a collaboration of South Korea’s retail giant Shinsegae Group and US shopping mall centers management firm Taubman Centers.

Shinsegae Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin and Taubman Centers CEO Robert S. Taubman pushed to set up the mall’s operating firm Hanam Union Square, with a 51 percent stake held by Shinsegae Group and the rest by Taubman Asia, an Asian unit of Taubman Centers.

Shinsegae Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin(right) and Taubman Centers Ceo Robert S. Taubman at the Sept. 9 opening ceremony for Starfield Hanam in Hanam, Gyeonggi Provice. The Investor

At the opening ceremony, Taubman said the project was thoroughly promoted by Chung, and praised his persistent spirit.

However, the two business leaders share more than just a mindset on running the mega-sized shopping mall.

Chung and Taubman each have a degree in economics from a US university. Chung studied economics at Brown University, Taubman at Boston University.

Both joined their family business in their 20s and later reached chairmanship. Chung, then a 27-year-old, entered Shinsegae in 1995 as the group’s strategy and planning team director. He was promoted to vice chairman in 2006. Taubman was a 23-year-old college graduate when he started his career at Taubman Centers in 1976. He spent 35 years there and was appointed chairman in 2011.

The two are father to four kids as well. Chung has two kids from a previous marriage with famous actress Go Hyun-jung and twins with his current wife, flutist Han Ji-hee. Taubman has three sons and one daughter with his wife, author Julia Reyes Taubman.

Chung is Korea’s 48th wealthiest man, at 683.9 billion won ($601.9 million) in assets, including a 9.83 percent stake in E-mart, a discount chain under Shinsegae.

Taubman holds 5.37 percent of shares in Taubman Center, worth 900 billion won.




Pool of untapped global brands at Starfield Hanam

At Starfield Hanam, a wide range of global automobile manufacturers offer a luxurious driving experience.

Hyundai Motor's high-end sedan Genesis opened its first display studio, Genesis Studio, for a test ride. It displays three different automobiles, including the EQ 900 Limousine, G80 and G80 sports. Product explanations in detail are also provided by salespeople.

Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motors Group, has been at the forefront pushing the Genesis since unveiling it at a motor show in Detroit in January.

Luxurious automobile manufacturer BMW opened the BMW MINI Lounge. BMW‘s first partnership with MINI provides opportunities for visitors to test two different vehicles at once.

The world’s No. 1 electronic carmaker Tesla is arriving at Starfield next month as well. Starting with a retail shop, a high-end “model S,” a SUV “model X” and a classic “model 3” under development are slated to be displayed to visitors. Sales will kick off as well when approved by the Korean government.

Harley Davidson has also opened a store specializing in motorcycles and the brand’s clothing. This was the first time the US headquarters took a lead in designing the Korean store. Harley Davidson is currently under the management of Chairman Matthew Levatich, whose assets are estimated at $10 million.

Italian lifestyle product brand Tonino Lamborghini opened its first Korean store at Starfield. Tonino Lamborghini was launched in 1981 by the son of the founder of luxury sports car manufacturer Lamborghini.

The sports car-maker was acquired by Audi in 2008 and now operates under the Volkswagen Group. Tonino Lamborghini is still operated under the Lamborghini family.

California-based shoemaker TOMS Roasting Co. has opened its first flagship store in Starfield Hanam. Quality coffee is offered while visitors try on shoes, bags and eyewear.

TOMS is known for its unique business “one for one” model, encouraging customers’ to bring pleasure to people in need. Since 2014, TOMS Roasting Co. has adopted the model so that one purchase of coffee here provides clean drinking water to people in developed countries. For example, if a customer buys a pack of coffee beans for $12.99, those without clean drinking water would receive enough for seven days.

TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie invented the unique business model. Along with the company growth, Mycoskie’s assets jumped to $300 million.

The world’s biggest pharmacy chain Boots is joining Starfield Hanam early next year. With over 13,000 stores in 11 countries, the UK-based drug store sells self-made cosmetics and living necessities.

Prior to the Starfield Hanam opening, E-mart signed a deal with the Walgreens Boots Alliance in July for exclusive management control over the chain in Korea.

Stefano Pessina, the CEO and largest shareholder of WBA, has assets of $13.7 billion.
 
By Hong Seung-wan, Cheon Ye-seon, Kim Yoon-mi, Yoon Hyun-jong, Min Sang-seek and Song Ji-won
/The Super Rich Team (jiwon.song@heraldcorp.com)