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  • Designing new customer experiences for a South Korean retailer


“The Korean Walmart” a nickname Emart earned by becoming South Korea’s first large discount retailer was facing two major challenges. First, any significant point of competitive differentiation was immediately copied by Lotte Mart, Tesco’s Home Plus and other players in the fiercely competitive market.

Second, the company had expanded quickly and without clear guidelines for the customer experience. From one section to the next the style, look and feel were dramatically different. Shoppers were lost in discordant point-of-sale communication resulting in unclear messaging and an inconsistent experience. Emart needed to create a bold new offer to differentiate itself and bring order to its current offerings.


Our team created three specialty store concepts that were new to the Korean market – a pet store, warehouse price club and Western-style consumer electronics retailer. These new formats were designed and built in 100 days. And at the same time we brought cohesiveness to the rest of the store, delivering a clear brand story and consistent customer experience.


The new stores feature a clean, simple and well-organized flow that emphasizes deals through bright and inviting signage along with a merchandising presentation of open cases on shipping pallets. They opened to crowds of enthusiastic shoppers and Emart is now on its way to becoming the “category killer” of Korea.

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