Apple Gangnam opened in March; Samsung Gangnam to follow


The Apple Gangnam store in Samsung’s home city opened just over a month ago, and a new report says that the Korean company has ambitious plans to fight back.

It is said to be planning to open Samsung Gangnam, a store spanning six floors, as part of an effort “to counter Apple’s expansion strategy in the country” …

The story begins in 2018

The first Apple Store in Samsung’s home market of Korea, Apple Garosugil, opened back in 2018. Based on the iPhone maker’s “town squares” concept, Apple Garosugil was intended to transform the shopping area.

Then retail head Angela Ahrendts said at the time that the company was thrilled to open its first store in Seoul, and “we look forward to continuing to grow in Korea.”

The move – and that statement – apparently worried Samsung, as it reportedly began making its own plans for its own flagship store in Seoul the same year.

Since then, Apple has further expanded its footprint on Samsung’s home turf with three more Apple Stores: Apple Myeongdong, Apple Jamsil, and Apple Gangnam.


Gangnam is one of the most prosperous areas in the city, and has been described as “Seoul’s Beverly Hills.” The area is home to most of the world’s top companies, and many luxury brands have flagship retail stores there, including Cartier and Vera Wang, as well as the World Trade Center Seoul, also known as COEX.

Gangnam became a household name globally in 2012, thanks to the Psy’s K-pop song “Gangnam Style.” The song was inspired by the lifestyle enjoyed there. Wiki notes that in the music video, “Psy can be seen dancing on top of the ASEM Tower with the Trade Tower in the background.”

The area would likely have been on Apple’s radar from day one.

Samsung Gangnam

The Korean Economic Daily reports that a Samsung Gangnam store is expected to open next month.

Samsung Electronics Co. in late June will open its new flagship store Samsung Gangnam near Gangnam Station, a posh area of Seoul […]

The company is known to have decided in 2018 to open the store and participated from the reconstruction stage of the facility’s building, the exterior of which will reflect Samsung Electronics’ identity […]

Industry sources say the company is seeking to counter Apple’s expansion strategy in the country.

Five years from plan to opening is a long time, but it seems the scale of the project may explain this, remodeling the exterior of the building, and spanning six floors.

With one basement and five above-ground floors, the facility will display Samsung Electronics’ mobile devices, TVs and household appliances and introduce a lifestyle featuring connection between products.

Apple continues expansion, with Apple Pay launch

Apple, meantime, continues to increase its presence in South Korea, with the launch of Apple Pay. We first spotted this in the iOS 16.4 code, and the mobile wallet service went live in March.

Photo of Samsung office block: Valentyn Chernetskyi/Unsplash

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