Korea's leading retail group, Shinsegae, had big ambitions to grow private label products and brands.
They created a new lifestyle division that was charged with ensuring Shinsegae captured Koreans’ growing interest in lifestyle products. They knew that their portfolio of brands would need to stack up against domestic rivals, and competition from international arrivals like IKEA. Tough business decisions needed to be made about which brands to expand, which to keep and whether to create new.
The first challenge was to define the commercial opportunity. The second was to decide which brands should be used to address it. We started by conducting deep research into Korean lifestyles (family hopes, attitudes to home and leisure, household needs, changing tastes) that revealed various unmet needs in Korean culture.
There was an obvious shortage of stylish quality products at a reasonable price, and no one was producing contemporary products that were harmonious with Korean ways. We also found that between long work hours and one of the highest population densities in the world, Koreans put a high value on leisure experiences in and around the city.
A year and a half from our kick off with JAJU, the new brand was alive in stores and proved an immediate success. Without any formal marketing, in-store lifestyle product sales rose 40%. A new range of product categories and series were designed, sourced, and produced for the JAJU brand.
And Shinsegae (JAJU's parent company) leadership has backed an ambitious rollout plan which includes hundreds of new sites and standalone stores all over Korea. The first year since launch saw 70% year-over-year growth, and has averaged to 40% each following year.