SM Entertainment Branded Products Soaring Off Retailers’ Shelves

John Kim, April 6, 2016, 3:43 p.m.

Retail chains are expanding collaborations with celebrities as big-name product lines are proving hugely popular in the most unlikely areas. Supermarket chain E-Mart launched 14 products including instant noodles, chocolate, popcorn, and sparkling water in collaboration with SM Entertainment last month. 

In just one month, 640,000 packets were sold. Teenagers who are not usually the main customer base of supermarket chains are flooding in with their parents at the weekend to buy products with stars' names and pictures. Sales of instant black bean noodles featuring the K-pop boy band EXO rose over 300 percent compared to the time before the branding.

In one store, a woman in her 20s bought 500 packs of chocolates emblazoned with the likeness of TVXQ in one go. "We will continue to increase the number and range of products that can grab attention of young customers," said Jang Young-jin, a marketing executive at E-Mart.

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has sold over 25 million lunch boxes and other foods branded with Hye-ri of Girls' Day in just a year.  Experts say retailers are desperate to appeal to youngsters as older customers get more savvy or keep their wallets shut. 

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