South Korean retailer, E-Mart, has opened its second store in Mongolia.
E-Mart in Mongolia
E-Mart opened its first store in Mongolia in 2016 through a franchise agreement with Sky Trading, a local distribution unit of Altai Group. Its first store performed strongly, posting sales of KRW42bn (US$37mn) in 2016, with Korean products accounting for around 20% of total sales. One year on, its second store looks to build on these impressive results, focusing on offering shoppers a wider choice.
Strong Korean influence
E-Mart has sent Korean workers to the newly opened store to support general operations. Different to the first E-Mart store, which has its own building, the new store operates 5,000 sq m on two floors of the Solo Mall in western Ulaanbaatar. However, the two E-Mart stores are similar in how they focus on Korean products. The new store, for example, carries about 12,000 products, with Korean items accounting for between 30% to 40%.
With modern retail in Mongolia in its infancy, the different types of products available in E-Mart such as Korean recipes for pork belly, chicken and rice-based dishes would appeal to Mongolian households, especially those with stronger disposable incomes. Similarly, western-style foods like Pizza sold at E-Mart are also gaining popularity amongst Mongolian consumers. To further offer customers quality and fresh produce, the retailer is also planning to sell sashimi in the future. This would offer Mongolian customers fresh fish, something that is not widely available due to the country's geographic location.
With E-Mart set to exit China by the end of the year, profitability at home and in Vietnam will be even more important. In August, the retailer announced plans to enter Cambodia by the first quarter of 2019. It will be difficult for the retailer to recoup what it once had in China, but its latest store opening in Mongolia is another step towards strengthening its presence in embryonic markets.