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SK Telecom is teaming up with Bluebell Korea, a local subsidiary of luxury goods retailer Bluebell Group, as the mobile carrier seeks to step up on-demand services as part of its business expansion.
The mobile carrier said Wednesday it signed a memorandum of understanding with Bluebell Korea to cooperate on new business opportunities, by bringing information and communication technologies to the local luxury retail industry.
Bluebell Group operates luxury brands in Asia and specializes in consulting. The group has eight branches across Asia – in Korea as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan – to distribute products from more than 100 brands. Bluebell Korea distributes luxury goods – from cosmetics to clothes, jewelry, watches and accessories — to duty free shops and shopping malls in Asia.
Under the deal, the two companies vowed to collaborate to connect offline shoppers over online services.
For instance, a foreign traveler to Korea may receive the latest information about luxury goods on their smartphone through SK Telecom and shop at stores affiliated with Bluebell. The goods purchased from those shops are embedded with location tracking devices so that shoppers don’t have need to worry about losing them or having them stolen, SK Telecom explains. The top mobile carrier also plans to more actively mobilize its cutting-edge technologies including cloud-based digital signage platform, where information, images and videos about products sold are displayed to respective stores’ need and users may even interact what they see.
“The luxury industry has so far strictly adhered to the craftsmanship of products and traditional sales channels,” SK Telecom said in a statement. “However, a slowdown in market growth coupled with the rise of young, tech-savvy consumers who are taking up a growing share of luxury spending is driving new changes in the conservative industry.”
“The convergence between ICT and the luxury retail industry will not only create new business opportunities for both parties but also deliver enhanced value and experience for customers,” said Cha In-hyok, executive vice president and head of the Internet of Things business at SK Telecom.
The global luxury industry is estimated at 300 trillion won ($263 billion) and its impact on related markets in the clothing and accessories is immense, he added. In this age of digital revolution, fashion and retail also have been undergoing significant changes, applying emerging technologies such as virtual reality, artificially intelligent chatbots and blockchains to their day-to-day operations.