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Beer market

Shinsegae to enter Korean beer market with Lets Fresh Today brand

Mar 05, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Shinsegae to enter Korean beer market with Lets Fresh Today brand

South Korea’s Shinsegae Group is entering the local beer market under the Lets Fresh Today brand as the retail giant is expanding its presence in the Korean liquor industry.

According to retail industry sources on Mar. 5, Shinsegae L&B Co., the wholesale distilled spirits distribution arm of the group, has applied to register Lets as the trademark for its beer business with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

Given that it usually takes six to ten months to get trademark rights, Shinsegae will likely unveil its branded beer in the domestic market this autumn at the earliest, industry officials said.

Shinsegae to enter Korean beer market with Lets Fresh Today brand
“We applied for the beer trademark as part of our efforts to widen our liquor business,” said a Shinsegae Group official.

Shinsegae is said to be expanding its beer business by importing foreign beer under an original equipment manufacturing scheme. It is also approaching local breweries for a business tie-up, sources said.

Once the Lets-branded beer is out, Shinsegae plans to sell it on the retail market through its distribution channels, including E-mart and E-mart 24, a convenience store that runs around the clock.

Shinsegae’s advance into the beer market is known to be led by Woo Chang-gyun, chief executive of Shinsegae L&B, who was hired by Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin in 2019.

Before joining Shinsegae, Woo worked at Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. as its liquor marketing chief.


Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin
Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin

Shinsegae Group is Korea’s largest wine importer through its wholesale distribution unit Shinsegae L&B. Shinsegae's E-mart also acquired Jeju Soju, a producer of the clear, colorless distilled Korean firewater, in 2016.

In 2014, Shinsegae opened Devil’s Door, a craft beer pub, in several upmarket locales across the country.

Write to Jong-Pil Park at jp@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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