Blue Bottle has selected Jeju as its first store outside of Seoul. Although two new stores were opened this year, they were both located in Seoul, causing the disappointment fans in other regions. Anticipation is high over whether Blue Bottle is planning a full-fledged venture outside of the capital area.
According to the retail industry last month, Blue Bottle Korea is hiring on a rolling basis on the condition that applicants must work in the Jeju area.
Both regular and part-time positions were recruited simultaneously. Details such as the store location were not disclosed.
Blue Bottle has been attracting attention after opening the first Korean store, the Seongsu branch, in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, in May 2019. The cafe chain started its business in Oakland, California, the United States, in 2002. Korea is the second overseas market it entered after Japan. Since the acquisition by Nestlé in 2017, it has broadened the potential to advance into the global market. South Korea was selected as the third country to establish business because of the high demand for coffee compared to the size of its population. When the Seongsu branch opened, it garnered so much attention that customers had to wait two hours in line before ordering.
Since then, the number of stores has increased to eight, but they are all concentrated in downtown Seoul. Following the opening of The Hyundai Seoul branch in Yeouido in February, the eighth store was launched at the Hyundai Department Store Trade Center in Gangnam, Seoul. Industry insiders had suggested that it may take advantage of department store branches to venture out to different regions.
The selection of Jeju as the first store outside of Seoul seems to target the influx of tourists. According to analysis, as the demand for domestic travel is concentrated on Jeju, Blue Bottle’s strategy is likely to focus on the so-called “cafe tourists.”
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