Shopping Tour in Pangyo
Pangyo is a part of Seongnam-si, a large conurbation situated to the southeast of Seoul. Conceived as the Korean version of Silicon Valley in the urban area in 2004, the final plan was approved in 2006, and construction works were carried out between 2006 and 2012. Since then, seven of Korea’s ten biggest gaming companies have moved from the Gangnam District in Seoul to Pangyo, primarily because of Pangyo’s cheaper land prices, its close proximity to Seoul, and the local government’s extensive support system.
Pangyo is not only home to IT companies, residential apartments, and houses but also to shopping areas offering trendy restaurants, clothing boutiques, Café Street, and much more.
A brand new Hyundai Department Store was opened in the summer of 2015 very near to Pangyo Station, and there are two Korean retail centers packed with numerous restaurants and stores located within a large apartment complex. The first retail mall resembles a French Shopping street, and is called “Avenue France,” while the other is named “La Street” under the theme of Italy’s street and plaza culture.
Let this column take you on a shopping tour around Pangyo’s shopping areas.
If you hop on the Sinbundang Line at Gangnam Station, it only takes 15 minutes to reach Pangyo and enjoy the ultimate shopping experience.
There is a common saying that goes, “Women relieve their stress by shopping while men become stressed by shopping,” but this is no longer true. Here is a mart that mainly targets men rather than women. E-Mart’s first specialized store is designed as an experience-focused outlet, offering customers the chance to try out diverse products. As well as electronics, the store offers men’s fashion and beauty products, accessories, sports equipment and alcoholic beverages, making it a kind of retail heaven for men. A key feature is a done experience zone, plus a racing circuit where customers can try their hand at racing model cars by remote control. It is located on the first floor of the Alphrium Tower in Pangyo Techno Valley in Seongnam.
[Hyundai Department Store]
The Pangyo branch of Hyundai Department Store is a ten-story building with six underground floors. It is 30% larger than the main branch of the Lotte Department Store in Sogong-dong, which used to be the largest department store in Seoul . It comprises a total of 809 shops and 210 brands, and has various “cultural centers” on its top floor that offer classes in diverse subjects. Meanwhile, on the 5th floor, there’s a Hyundai Museum of Children’s Books & Art and a carousel especially for kids.
But the floor with the most “buzz” is the basement floor where the majority of the store’s restaurants and bakeries are situated. Some of them are world-famous food brands that have set up in Korea for the first time right here in the Hyundai Department Store.
First opened in New York back in 1996, Magnolia Bakery launched a branch in the Hyundai Department Store in 2015. People are always lining up to get hold of one of its cupcakes. Due to the overwhelming demand for their signature red velvet cupcakes and banana puddings, they limit purchases to just one dessert per person per day. The store makes everything from the cupcakes to the icing.
Joe & the Juice
Originally launched in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, Joe & the Juice offers all kinds of juices as well as coffee and sandwiches. Everything is the same in every store around the world, from the music to the ambiance. Most of the juices are made with apples to add natural sweetness to the store’s healthy blends.
This is a restaurant that featured in the TV series Sex and the City where the four heroines dined often. It is the second overseas branch to open (the first being in Japan), and it took a full year until the place was ready to serve customers. Its signature dish is Eggs Benedict.
Avenue France, one of the latest trendy shopping ideas, is a “street mall” that features premium dining restaurants and boutiques, and comes highly recommended to anyone seeking international flavors in Gyeonggi-do Province. It is a 200-meter street mall designed with a Parisian theme and a “Soho chic” environment. It was the first branch of Avenue France to open in Korea, followed by a second branch in Gwangyo (Northern Suwon).5