Korea Credit Distribution was formed July 1987 and changed its name to HiMart in December 1999 opening independent department store-like (although much smaller in scale than department stores run by conglomerates selling variety of item groups) branches across the nation, selling electric home appliances . it was the next-best thing aside from show-rooms directly operated by Korean electronics conglomerates SamSung and LG who also had branches in the most concentrated intersections even in rural areas throughout South Korea . although those conglomerate show-rooms carried minor brands other than theirs, HiMart was the best brick-and-motar store to shop-and-compare multiple brands, aside from Electronics (JeonJa) Land . but then On-Line shopping malls flourished with cut-throat price competition, thus you would check 0ut the actual merchandise at HiMart but purchase it On-Line, although they do have their own On-Line counterpart . more-over there was no-way they can display all the variety of models from multiple brands in their relatively small buildings, which took you again On-Line .. it was acquired by Eugene Group in December 2007, but due to their plummet in concrete business re-sold to another Korean shopping conglomerate Lotte by last July 2012 – hence the conjunction name .
Lotte HiMart, who had been selling only iPhones supplied by local cellular carriers, announced yesterday they were joining the ranks of Apple ReSellers in South Korea, and will sell Apple products from Monday December 16th in their hundred-or-so branches – the very date iPad Air and Mini Retina begin Officially selling in South Korea .
*mind-you : there is a vast difference between Apple Premium ReSeller and Apple-Authorized ReSeller, plus an ambiguous name of Apple Shop appearing now-and-then . Premium ReSellers sell ONLY Apple products, while Authorized ReSellers sell much more of other brands too, and Lotte HiMart will be joining the latter .
so will this suddenly change the demographics of Apple sales in South Korea ?
No . as it is too late, for the glitz is gone from Korean consumers . iPhone was (2 years) late coming into Korea (in 3GS) still had a spark then for a while, but was soon gone (in 3 years by the time 5 arrived) with the convenience of local conglomerate support AND much more tackling option Android offered through other makers . as are Macs inappropriate for local business (although many were impressed with the first MacBook Air), as iPhones aren’t for study comprised of streaming videos . you can witness this first-hand by dropping-in any Apple Premium ReSeller Store in a month when a new product isn’t launched – virtually empty . add to this the unsure scrutiny involved in getting repair even with warranty . with the ever-hard stumbling block of all time : iTunes – Yes, this is in stark contrast with neighboring countries of Japan and China, where the marketing and consumer have twisted together to form a harmonious supply of goods and service . but all this computes quite differently where the general consumer is much used to the comfort of SamSung and LG .
Nor will the vast network of branches Lotte HiMart has throughout the Korean Peninsula help much, for iPhones, iPads and MacBooks are revered by the haves who mostly dwell in higher-class neighborhoods in concentrated areas .
but HiMart is one of the few electronic retailers where general consumers – i.e., NOT early adopters nor computer gurus but everyday people who come to glance around at a branch in their neighborhood – listen to sales people on distinguishing among the many brands and models, because the vendors have to give sound advice for returning costumers who live around their neighborhood than lose them to On-Line shopping malls . this tend to be quite dependable, than electronic districts or dedicated buildings mentioned on top menu of this BLog, where vendors will try to tell you anything for a sale because competition abound on-site, while clerks at electronics corners in supar-marts will approach you only when you inquire – giving you peaceful time to look around and shop, although there won’t be many choice of brands nor models .
perhaps the only real way Lotte HiMart may make a difference is if they come to offer product support as well – this will be a new one offering repair in a corner near you, in a friendly local manner and NOT the current talk and attitude of an alien technician stepping out of a space-ship -_- (as are Sony before’em, thus bought purely for its sleek design and prestige) but again there is this much-realistic joke about how all Apple-support contract technicians in South Korea may be local competitions’ secret agents //