Best Shop: how it works and what sells the network of LG company stores in South Korea


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After the talk about LG’s strategy for equipping the smart home of the future and an excursion to the household plant

technology has remained another interesting topic, withwhich we were introduced to in South Korea is the LG brand store, whose chain immodestly bears the proud name of Best Shop. It will not be amiss to recall that in South Korea the popularity of local brands known around the world, and the trust in them is the highest - here they are treated only as national pride, representing the country on the world stage. Incomparably high, compared with our country, where manufacturers have far fewer opportunities, and after-sales service: you can sign up for a personal consultation on the website of a chain of stores (and not this obsessive “how can I help you”), you can also track delivery of the purchase. It was interesting to find out how the retail network works with such a large player as LG in his homeland, in South Korea.

We visited one of the chain stores (as far asI understood that in Seoul alone, where every fifth resident of the country lives, there are two dozen of them). The store occupies two floors. In itself, this may not be so impressive - you never have two-story stores in our country (for example, MOYO's flagship store is such), but when you think about selling only equipment from one manufacturer in it (in fact, there are goods and other companies, but there are very few of them, and the full catalog of LG products is 124 pages), then impressions are fundamentally changing.


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There is a parking lot in front of the store. As far as I understand, it is for both buyers and service network cars.


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On the windows are the logos of the LG technology lines, about whichdoes not know the domestic manufacturer - Tromm (washing and drying machines, and now steam cabinets) and Dios (expensive built-in appliances, in the creation of which designers participate). And also there is LG Whisen - beautiful and technological floor-standing industrial air conditioners for large rooms. And an experimental series of home furniture LG Objet, combined with appliances. But CLOi series robots are not yet being sold in stores. At the entrance there is a turnstile, there is a parking for bicycles and benches nearby.


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The trading room is spacious and well-lit.thanks to the glass walls of the building. Most of the room is reserved for consultation tables. In some ways, it resembles a bank (perhaps soft chairs for visitors), but without queues.


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The first thing a visitor sees at the entrance is the techniquefor skin care LG Pra.L. The company calls this series a personal beauty clinic (Personal Beauty Clinic). It’s really difficult for me to judge how effective such a technique is and its compliance with its purpose, but the market for cosmetics and skin care products is really huge in any country in the world. Women willingly spend a ton of money on all this, so the electronics manufacturer is interested. On the other hand, logic suggests that any new household appliances initially caused the same doubts - why is a vacuum cleaner difficult to maintain (I mean the very first models, of course), if you can do it by hand? Why are these crock-pots clearly grown from rice cookers popular in Asia? What is the point in an expensive massage chair if a specialist makes a massage 1000 times for the same money? I admit, I always believed that such a primordially Asian fun like karaoke will never be popular with us, but you go ...


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A striking difference from the usual retail - smartphones take up extremely little space - only a couple of tables are reserved for them. Focus on the new flagships is the LG G8 Thinq and V50 ThinQ.


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I already mentioned the LG V50 5G ThinQ among tenof the things that struck me on this trip, but I will repeat it again: while Samsung and Huawei are trying to bring folding models of smartphones to the market, LG (which, by the way, has its own technology for the production of folding screens and introduced serial televisions with a roll-up screen this year) ) offers with this smartphone a special case that adds a second screen to which you can display the window of the second running application or, for example, a gamepad for the current game.


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A small detail demonstrating attention to detail in the store: next to the stand with a virtual reality helmet are disposable covers. Hygiene and customer care are not an empty phrase.


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Like us, a large area is reserved for TVs. Next to them is furniture that allows you to comfortably sit for viewing. I am glad that similar areas with upholstered furniture are already starting to appear in our place - in MOYO and Citrus, for example. The central place, of course, is occupied by Signature OLED TVs.


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But, of course, there are rows with conventional LCD TVs.


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But this exposure was unexpected formonobrand store. It compares LG OLED TV with Samsung QLED TV. It is clear that visually the picture on the LG TV is better, but it seemed to me that in this case LG openly cunning, because visually QLED is no less bright. I think something was tricked with the brightness settings or modes, or set screens of different generations (I somehow watched such a trick at a Sony presentation). On the second frame, by the way, there is a clear explanation of how the OLED panel differs from the modern LCD panel: it has many fewer layers. That gives a record thickness of OLED panels, and high brightness.


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There was, of course, a place for computers with monitors. But either I did not pay attention because of our schedule, or there really are not many of them in the store.


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And this is what the LG Objet furniture series looks like. While it includes a bookcase TV (the panel with the screen partially goes to the side, opening the shelves).


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And three nightstands, which house a fridge bar, an air purifier and an acoustic speaker.


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LG also produces massage chairs. Now in the catalog of 5 models. I remember that I first used a similar chair on my last trip to South Korea, 10 years ago. Then the sensations were so-so - they were far from massage with hands, the impressions were almost like using the old Soviet manual massager with gears. But progress does not stand still and during a tour of one of the three expositions of a smart home, I spent about 5 minutes of precious time (we had a hell of a busy program and had a tight schedule) and sat in that. The impressions were much more pleasant than ten years ago, and I am ready to believe that after 10 years such chairs, firstly, will surpass the efforts of most massage therapists. And, secondly, they will be found in our homes (as well as in all kinds of waiting areas in the same salons and buildings where they provide state administrative services).


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Another curious little thing that attracts attention- a projector with a record short distance to the projection screen. In fact, the projector itself is immediately below the screen, and such a design can easily replace a TV with a large diagonal.


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There are projectors and smaller. These are portable. I remember that about 10 years ago there was confidence that pico projectors would gain strength (they even tried to build them into smartphones), but somehow we did not see explosive growth, although such projectors continue to be developed.


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Second floor of the store (by the way, stairs forno visitors, there is only an elevator) reserved for household appliances. Although, judging by the reason why we were brought through half the world, it will soon be compared in terms of computer capabilities and the Internet of things is also just around the corner.


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Another direct comparison with competitors instore: next to the LG A9 series vacuum cleaners are Samsung vacuum cleaners and, unexpectedly, Dyson. And they’re not just standing - they can all be used to compare opportunities.


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All sorts of different vacuum cleaners are also enough here, includingR9 series robots (by the way, at the factory, I learned that the A9, R9 and T9 series of vacuum cleaners together form the word ART - art, just like with Tesla, where the line of cars forms the word SEX).


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The best places on the floor, of course, for premium and expensive Signature equipment. To enhance the effect, a TV from the first floor was added to household appliances.


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Here you can probably choose a refrigerator for hours. The tables with the consultants were not very busy (we were in the store in the middle of the working day), I think there are a lot more people here on the weekend or on the eve of some Black Friday.


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One of the tricks of the expensive refrigerator series is thatcalled French Doors. I don’t know why a shelf over the entire width of a two-door refrigerator is called a door (historically, as I understand it, they simply called two-door refrigerators, but we have stuck with their American name side-by-side), but as it is.


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And this refrigerator after opening the doorsfreezer, separate engines push shelves forward. It looks like an overwhelming innovation until you remember that in modern cars there can be dozens of engines for a variety of small functions that buyers of the first cars would also seem excessive and today no one is surprised by the engine that lifts the windows in the car door.


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Washer LG Signature. C screen. Some kind of animated picture with a washing mode is spinning on it. The world is moving towards a fully sensory control of technology. With displays instead of pens.


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A rare variety of wine refrigerators for us. Three different sizes and volumes.


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A range of LG PuriCare air purifiers. Also any size and power. Have you seen in the video how such a cleaner completely cleans the camera of steam in a matter of seconds? If you have not seen, be sure to look. It's worth it.


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The older models also have a display. Perhaps displays in 20 years will be in each toaster?


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Portable air purifiers. There is a separate accessory stand for them. They can be used in a car, but on brochures with such devices often depict children, which in itself speaks of a common purchase scenario. For the health of children do not mind.


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Another shot of the interior for understanding the atmosphere of the store:


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Next to another useful household appliance: a dishwasher. I don’t know what innovations there are, I didn’t seem to notice the displays.


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Another small detail: a table with business cards store staff. Just like business cards for trainers in gyms. Choose who you want to call, consult. We don’t have this (or is it already somewhere? The world is changing very quickly).


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Shelf with crock-pots. It seems to me, or in our stores there are a lot less of them from any manufacturer? Or are they here with bread makers?


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And here are the shelves with appliances not made by LG. As I was told, this is in order to give customers everything they need, but what LG itself does not produce: coffee makers, toasters, hair dryers. Although after all that I’ve seen, I won’t be surprised if LG starts making, for example, toasters as soon as they figure out how to place a display in them and for what.


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Here is another item from my list of unusual pieces - a toilet seat with heating, a bidet and an air duct. A useful thing, but LG does not produce them either.


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Another section with extremely useful equipment (by the way, I'm a fan) is LG induction cookers.


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I always wanted to see how the induction cooker looks from the inside. Another dream come true.


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Shelf with microwaves. There are no transparent displays and all sorts of such things, it is not so interesting against the background of everything seen.


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And one more photo for the scale.


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In the dry residue

Despite still ongoing growthInternet commerce (especially in the field of technology), going to the store to choose a purchase is still one of the activities of people. It was all the more interesting to see what the retail (and at the same time mono-brand - we have few of them now) looks like the store of one of the two manufacturers of appliances in South Korea, which holds a significant part of all household appliances in the world. I hope you were as interested as me. In any case, if your work is related to retail sales of such equipment.