Korea’s Retail Giant: Inside Hyundai Department Store

Even though shopping is terrible on-post, shopping in Daegu is pretty good. There are tons of local malls, underground shops, and traditional markets. Donga and Hyundai Department Store in Daegu are located downtown. Although I love the mall, the real value in Hyundai lies in its food stalls and restaurants. They offer a variety of great eats.

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Shopping at Hyundai Dept Store
Food Court

I love how the lady who sells stirfry knows exactly what I want. She adds just a little bit of spice and tells the cook to flip the egg because my hubby won’t eat soft yolks. But the lady who sells curry (right next door) doesn’t. I want one more piece of chicken and not another set. Every single time, she rings me up for two sets, and the cook has to grab a piece of chicken with tongs. He waves it at me and her, and then she gets it. Every single time.

I felt the need to update this post in light of Hyundai’s recent redesign. However, upon further inspection, I quickly came to understand that while the fundamental structure remains largely unchanged, the inner workings have been significantly revamped. The essence of the vehicle – its “bones” – may be the same, but the internal components, or “guts”, have undergone a considerable transformation.

Hyundai Makes Cars Too

Back in 2015, I wrote an article about the Shinsegae Department Store in Busan. At the time, it claimed to be the largest department store in the world. Howver, it’s not even in the top 20 now.

Shinsegae Department Store-Former World’s Largest

Hyundai is not nearly as big, but I could see Hyundai from my house. This article isn’t so much about the shopping you can do in the “mall”, but for the food options, it presents if you find yourself wandering around downtown.

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10 Floors of Shopping and Eating

Walking past the valet parking desk and into the warm mall between the Hermes and Cartier stores. It smells like powdered makeup and perfumes–lots of perfume. I ignore everything happening around me, past all the makeup counters like Sulwhasoo, and down the escalators to the right – that’s where I’ll find what I’m looking for.

The Hyundai is located in the heart of Daegu. It’s 10 floors of high-end shopping, selling everything from shoes and accessories to expensive cosmetics and home furnishings.

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The Hyundai Stores and Restaurants

There are numerous restaurants, a large food court, and a cultural center and art center. It caters to the affluent clientele. Chanel, Fendi, Hermes, Burberry, and Tiffany & Co– are on the ground floor, foreshadowing what can be found as the shopper ascends the building. It wasn’t enough that just about 90% of all Koreans (totally my own non-scientific estimate) own a Hyundai or a Kia (a subsidiary of Hyundai), but they want to ensure Koreans wear clothes, purse, and shoes purchased in their stores too.

Hyundai is currently the fourth-largest automobile manufacturer, jumped into the retail sales business in 1977, opening a Hyundai Shopping Center in the city of Ulsan. Ulsan is also where their flagship manufacturing plant and the world’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility are located. But I digress.

It’s a department store to the locals
But a mall to you and me

The term mall is not associated with these gigantic retail stores. When I first arrived, I said Hyundai Mall and was quickly bombarded with looks of amazement and wonder. They look like an American Mall of the most part, although many of the designers don’t always have 3 walls around them. I rarely even window shop because The Hyundai is expensive.

However, I had a view of it from my window and it stays busy, so obviously someone is shopping there. It has 5 levels of parking, and I’ve walked by to when there weren’t any spaces available and a long line of cars waiting to enter.

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The Food Court

The food court in the basement (B1) is my favorite floor of the store. It is pretty big considering I’ve now seen the food court at Shinsegae. And unless I missed something, I think Hyundai has them beat in both variety and size. We used to eat there more (until I learned to use my Korean oven).

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However, we used eat there at least twice a week when we lived next door in Miso City. Sushi on conveyor belts. stir-fry, dried meats, cakes, seafood, pizza, and fried chicken. Curry, noodles shops, dumplings, designer popsicles, a wine shop. And an organic grocery store that sells some of the most beautifully packaged fruit and vegetables you’ve ever seen.

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Other Places to Dine

Check out all the restaurants on the 9th floor as well as the huge new cafe, The Forum by Jaime Hayon 더 포럼 by 하이메 아욘, on the 9th floor. It serves a very nuce variety of brunch and lunch options.

The Forum by Jaime Hayon

Brunch Cafe on the 9th Floor

The café is truly impressive in its scale, having taken the place of the large special events center that previously occupied the location. This expansion has allowed for a more spacious interior, designed with a contemporary aesthetic to foster a relaxed, yet vibrant atmosphere.

Moreover, it holds a versatile feature in the form of a small stage area. This spot, strategically located, often hosts a variety of events, breathing life into the café through concerts and a series of pop-up events. From local bands showcasing their talents, to art shows, book readings, and pop-up retail, the café is not just about food and drink; it’s about the experiences and memories created within its walls.

Therefore, not only is this cafe huge in size, but also immense in its capacity to facilitate community engagement, creativity, and entertainment, transforming the café experience into something far more dynamic and vibrant.

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Just beyond “The Forum” designed by Jaime Hayon, you’ll find a spacious outdoor area graced with a beautiful garden. This spot features seasonal displays, areas to sit and relax, designated photo spots, and an impressive view of the city. This picturesque panorama includes the rooftop ferris wheel atop Sparks, further enhancing the overall cityscape.

Store Hours and Location

It is conveniently located near Banwoldang Station at 2077, Dalgubeol-daero, Jung-gu. And is open 10:30 to 20:00 Daily, closed one Monday per month. For more information, go to Daegu, http://www.ehyundai.com/ (you can change the language in the page footer). Most major credit cards are accepted stroller rentals.

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