Korean E-Commerce Startup Linkshops puts Dongdaemun Online

Dongdaemun is now online thanks to a Korean e-commerce startup called Linkshops, an online Korean apparel shopping mall.   They have over 1 million items from over 8,000 stores.  For those that are unfamiliar with Dongdaemun, it is the biggest offline shopping district in Seoul.  The Dongdaemun night market is famous with tourists from Asia, who come to Dongdaemun the find the best deals.  The area is packed with wholesale malls, retail malls, and street stalls.  Not only are the selections large, but the area is open until dawn so you can shop all night long.

Dongdaemun Offline to Online

Dongdaemun has over 20,000 shops.  They sell everything from clothing to bags to footwear.  Most will open around 9 PM and close at 6 AM.  However, with LinkShops retailers can shop at Dongdaemun 24 hours a day.  The e-commerce industry has really hurt Dongdaemun over the years and it has taken some time before stores realized that they needed to go digital.  Instead of going to Dongdaemun there is now an option to buy the latest wholesale clothes through LinkShops.  They have connected with Dongdaemun wholesalers and retailers to sell on their online platform.

B2B E-Commerce Website for Dongdaemun

Korean E-Commerce Startup LinkShops

LinkShops was founded in 2012 and they are mainly a Korean B2B e-commerce website where retailers can find items from Dongdaemun’s wholesalers.  Both will need to download the LinkShop’s app and put in their orders.  There is a membership fee for joining the platform.  Retailers will no longer need to go to Dongdaemun and look through the many wholesalers that are located in different buildings and different floors.  The latest styles are updated daily on LinkShops so retailers can order the newest styles.  They will also have the option to make online repayments for the stock they order.  Retailers will be able to see the whole ordering process from orders selected to distribution.  They can even get their purchase listing via Excel file.

Connecting Retailers and Wholesalers

Korean E-Commerce Startup

LinkShops will help wholesalers remind them of possible shortages and if an item is out of stock, the retailers will know about it instantly.  Therefore LinkShops is a lot more convenient and helps both parties.  Consider them as the largest brokerage platform for the Korean fashion market.  It is great news that Dongdaemun has finally joined the digital fashion market.  If they didn’t then their sales would have continued to decline and they would have been left behind.

What will happen to Dongdaemun?

The one issue of LinkShops could be the potential decrease in foreign travel into Dongdaemun.  If Dongdaemun becomes fully online and more and more retailers and shoppers realize that they do not need to go to Dongdaemun to buy the products, there will be a sharp decrease in the tourist industry in Seoul, especially in Dongdaemun.  This could affect not only the local shops but the restaurants and the street vendors.  This is something we should monitor moving forward.  It is possible the offline stores will need to create innovative user experiences to keep their tourists coming back.