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WBA to open Boots stores in South Korea

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) plans to form franchise partnership with Emart Co. Ltd., a leading hypermarket retailer in South Korea.

Emart store2_South Korea

Emart operates nearly 150 hypermarkets in South Korea.

WBA said the first Boots stores are slated to open before the end of the first half of next year.

Under the agreement, the Boots stores will be located in shopping malls, on high streets and within the outbound areas of Emart hypermarkets and Shinsegae department stores. Emart is part of the Shinsegae Group.

“South Korea is considered a leading market for skin care and cosmetics products in Asia today. We believe there is a significant opportunity to extend the reach of Boots’ own brands into this market and are thrilled to be doing so with Emart,” WBA co-chief operating officer Ornella Barra said in a statement. “Emart is the pre-eminent retailer in South Korea, and their strong experience as well as their marketing expertise gives us great confidence in the long-term potential of this partnership.”

The Boots stores will house an independent pharmacy plus a selection of Boots own brands and exclusive brands, including its popular No7 and Soap & Glory products, along with leading Korean brands, WBA said.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the Boots brand and offer pharmacy care as well as acting as a beauty and health care destination by also offering a wide range of both Korean and Boots product brands,” stated Gab-Soo Lee, chief executive officer of Emart Inc.

Overall, WBA has more than 13,100 pharmacy, health and beauty retail stores in 11 countries. Emart operates 157 stores in South Korea, including 147 Emart hypermarkets and 10 Traders discount warehouse stores, and manages eight stores in China and one store in Vietnam.


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