Shinsegae and Naver combine forces to take on Coupang

Date : 19 March 2021

Jiong-Jiong Yu

Senior Retail Analyst

South Korean retail giant Shinsegae Group and technology behemoth Naver (Korea’s Google) are combining forces to gain a competitive edge in the fast changing ecommerce field.

Signed a stock swap deal worth KRW250bn (US$221m)

The two companies signed a strategic partnership agreement and a stock swap deal worth KRW250bn (US$221m) this week.

We plan to establish a strong cooperation network that encompasses the entire retail industry, from commerce, logistics and new businesses,” Shinsegae Group said in a press release.

The group also said that the move will bring the following benefits:

  • For customers: Shinsegae would be combining its expertise in retail, both online and of physical stores, with Naver’s expertise in online platform operation and artificial intelligence technology to provide the best shopping expereice to customers
  • For third party sellers: it aims to create a new retail ecosystem where Shinsegae can work and grow together with individual and small business sellers

Shinsegae seeks to be the “strongest” player

Shinsegae Group said that, with Naver, it seeks to become the “strongest” in the retail scene.

It currently has 20 million online users, and Naver has 54 million. From their partnership, they would bring together 450,000 sellers, their logistics networks and 7,300 offline stores across the country.

Coupang made a spectacular debut on the New York Stock Exchange this month. The move from Shinsegae and Naver is seen as a measure to keep Coupang in check.

Since the relaunch of its online platform in 2019, Shinsegae’s online business has gone from strength to strength. Whilst its rival, Lotte, is still seeking ways to make progress.