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Former Seoul Shopping Hot Spot Myeongdong Hits 43% Vacancy Rate

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk through Seoul's Myeongdong shopping district. Getty Images.
Pedestrians wearing face masks walk through Seoul's Myeongdong shopping district. Getty Images. (ED JONES)

The South Korean capital’s famous shopping area, which houses Laneige, Etude House and Stylenanda stores, is being hit hard by social distancing measures, which are currently the country’s toughest since the pandemic began due to a surge in cases and a slow vaccine rollout, RLI reports.

Myeongdong’s vacancies have reached 43.3 percent, according to the Korea Real Estate Board, above the 31.9 percent and 22.6 percent felt by Itaewon and Hongdae/Hapjeong, other neighbourhoods once jam-packed with stores and restaurants and beloved by locals and tourists alike. The board attributes store closures, which are higher for larger stores, to travel restrictions keeping visitors out of the country.

Rents have also gone down. The average fee for large boutique spaces in the second quarter of 2021 declined 0.21 percent from the first quarter.

Learn more:

Seoul Department Stores Close Temporarily as Covid-19 Cases Surge

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The State of Fashion: Technology