Bye Bye Beijing, hello Seoul. Raking into the popularity of K-Pop in India, Korikart, a marketplace for Korean goods, is all set to venture into the offline domain with the launch of its first standalone store in Gurgaon, which will house premium Korean products across beauty and wellness categories.
The company claims to have witnessed 300 percent growth in sales since March 2020 and is currently reporting over 40 percent month-on-month growth. It is now targeting Rs eight crore worth of sales by the end of March 2022.
K-Pop has brought Korean products on the mainstream platforms and the pandemic and subsequent boycott of the Chinese goods in India, has only added fuel to a very imaginative fire.
"Korikart has grown extremely well in India since March 2020. We have expanded nearly 300 percent across the country, including by two folds in K-fashion and K-beauty. The brand has gained momentum with 40-60 percent growth on a monthly basis," Seo Youngdoo, Founder, Korikart, told Moneycontrol in an interaction.
Even the food category, which has a relatively lower ticket size, has done well since it is a volume churner.
"During the pandemic, people really wanted to experiment with new cuisines. Korean ramens came in handy," said Youngdoo.
A Korea-born, Youngdoo has been living in India for over one-and-a-half decades. He used to come for standalone Korean projects initially, but looking at the opportunities India offered, decided to set up his own venture here.
Founded in Delhi, Korikart currently sells Korean products across categories such as beauty, food, pet products and lifestyle, among others. The top selling items in India include vitamin shower filters, face sheet masks, ramen noodles and body scrubs.
The company has been experimenting with shop-in- shop models across select cities, but has now ventured into its own full sized outlet.
The capex for setting up this 400 square feet shop is around Rs 1.3-1.5 crore. It is also in talks to launch two more stores across Jaipur and Mumbai, both proposed as franchisee outlets. Youngdoo did not disclose the name of the company it is tying up for the franchisee.
While the average ticket size of products sold on Korikart's website is around Rs 500, Youngdoo expects a higher basket size from the offline outlets, given that most of them will be carrying premium products of the company. "It should be at least Rs 2,000,”he stated.
The company imports about 70 percent of the products directly from Korea and buys the rest from local dealers, who sell Korean products in India
K-drama is high on romance and crime, ingredients that get instant acceptance in the Indian market.
Many believe the rise of Korean entertainment started to happen in India with the introduction of Korea musician PSY's song Gangnam Style, which struck a chord with youngsters during the early 2000s. It was just the take off platform that Korikart needed.