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Korean department stores break off contracts with Korean actresses

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Updated : April 12 2018

Lotte Department Store did not extend its contract with actress Shin Min-a, effectively putting an end to the practice of hiring celebrities as exclusive models for department stores here.

Korean department stores previously had the practice of hiring popular actresses to represent their businesses as exclusive models.

However, Shinsegae and Hyundai department stores, as well as Galleria, had stopped employing celebrity models since the early 2000s. Shinsegae’s last exclusive celebrity model was actress Kim Hye-soo in 2000 and Galleria’s was anchorwoman Jung Euna in 1997.

Lotte was the last remaining department store here to have a celebrity as its exclusive representative.

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Shin Min-a (Lotte Department Store)
Shin’s contract with Lotte ended on March 29, and the two agreed not to extend it, according to Lotte on Thursday.

Shin had been the exclusive model for Lotte Department Store from March 2017. Actress Park Shin-hye had been the department store’s representative for two years from 2015 to March 2017.

A representative from the Lotte Department Store said the firm has no plans to hire exclusive models for its future promotional activities, as the practice no longer fits the brand image it seeks. One downside of hiring exclusive models was that any scandals involving the celebrity could harm department stores’ sales.

It is more common these days for department stores to hire nondescript foreign models. For special promotions, Hollywood stars are often hired as temporary models.

Starting from 2018, Lotte will select a theme based on each month’s main product when executing marketing and promotional activities.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)

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