The Korea Herald


AK Plaza tops Galleria for first time

By Suk Gee-hyun

Published : March 23, 2015 - 19:11

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AK Plaza, the department store affiliate of Aekyung Group, became the fourth-largest department store in South Korea in terms of sales, beating the posh Hanwha Galleria for the first time since launching its business in 1993, the company said Monday.

AK Plaza recorded total sales, including online and in-store, of 2.15 trillion won ($1.92 billion) last year, surpassing Hanwha Galleria’s 2.05 trillion won.

“All five outlets rank at No. 1 in each region. The sales figure of the Suwon branch in Gyeonggi Province is about four times that of Galleria’s Suwon outlet,” a spokesman from Aekyung Group said in a statement.

AK Plaza’s leap to No. 4 is largely due to its strategy of targeting provincial areas, industry watchers said. The shopping outlet currently operates five branches in Bundang, Suwon and Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi Province, Wonju in Gangwon Province and Guro in Seoul.

AK Plaza has shown steady growth since 2012, when it recorded 1.95 trillion won in sales, according to the firm’s data.

The figure rose to 2.7 trillion won in 2013, whereas the Galleria and other department stores saw a decline due to the economic slowdown and an increase in direct buying overseas. Galleria’s sales dipped 2 percent to 2.5 percent during the period.

The nation’s top three department stores remained unchallenged, with Lotte Department Store recording 14.2 trillion won, Hyundai Department Store 6.98 trillion won and Shinsegae Department Store 6.3 trillion won last year.

By Suk Gee-hyun (