Korean retailer takes a ‘Mega’ leap into U.S.

DULUTH, Ga. —Korean retailer Mega Mart took the wraps off its first U.S. store on Oct. 8, debuting in a sprawling, 150,000-sq.-ft. former Macy’s department store at Gwinnett Place mall in this Atlanta suburb.

Mega Mart operates 13 other stores, including 10 in its native Korea and three in China, but this two-story location in suburban Atlanta marked its first foray into the United States. The store features a broad mix of product categories, including a full floor of apparel, jewelry and other general merchandise. On the lower level is a huge assortment of produce, packaged foods and fresh-prepared deli items.

Mega Mart also offers a small healthy and beauty aids set in a perimeter alcove, but of far greater impact is a dramatically lit skin and beauty care boutique, where staffers advise a mostly female clientele on moisturizers, cleansers, replenishment creams and other products for face, body and bath.

Much of the food mix consists of products from Korea and other Asian nations, and caters to the area’s large Asian and Latino communities. But Mega Mart also features a broad mix of grocery items from U.S. and European manufacturers, and company officials said the store is designed to appeal to a broad cross-section of shoppers.

Officially, Mega Mart is not yet announcing definitive expansion plans for the United States. But one company manager told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that 10 more units could open in the United States over the next five years, and a store employee told Drug Store News the chain also is eyeing locations in Los Angeles and other West Coast markets, as well as Toronto.