After spying their instagram for at least 4 weeks…Boots Seoul has finally opened its flagship doors, after soft launching in Hannam Starfield. And as one of Britains most popular high street drugstores, it’s strange to be traipsing a store to which I’m oddly intimate with back home. The staff, who I might add are extremely helpful; each with their crisp white uniform, display badges that indicate the languages they can speak aside from Korean.
A young woman, whose badge indicates she speaks Japanese, approaches me and starts to muster up her best English; she is explaining what each mask does and so on. Which I guess would be great if I A) didn’t have my headphones in and B) wasn’t so at home in this store. No.. this is the one store in Seoul that I don’t need google translate or a guide to wander.
Might we take a minute to applaud Boots for the cleverly constructed 4 floor store that boasts cosmetics, skincare and pharmaceutical goods. A death trap for someone like me, who flings everything new and shiny into a shopping basket.
The important stuff…
-Opening 3 for 2 events…and freebies. I left with more cotton wool that I planned too! lol Check their instagram page for more detail.
-3 floors of healthcare, cosmetics and pharmacy. List of brands can be found here.
-4th floor is under construction. Soon to be a ‘Kpop cafe’ (whatever the hell that is meant to be).
-I get it, smack bang in one of the most touristy parts of Seoul, the footfall is undeniable.
-Price point on British/overseas items is virtually the same. No ridiculous import/export mark ups.
-Well known cosmetics brands like MAC, Urban Decay, Shu Uemura and Luna.
-Watch out for British brands that are new to the Korean market such as Liz Earle. Famed for naturally active ingredients and cleanse & polish products, I have yet to see anywhere that stocks them..until now.
-Foreigner friendly. Boots already has stores in Thailand and Hong Kong.
New contenders…. Brands such as the infamous Cosrx, Leaders, Erborian and Vichy had their designated stands. With the exception of moisture pads, not many Cosrx products… sold out perhap? Left untouched however, are the products recognisable to me, but potentially foreign to Koreans. Champneys Spa, No7, Bliss and Soap & Glory, all marketed as the UK’s favs.
Overall, one to watch… Boots brings to the table what many health and beauty stores lack in Seoul. The combination of premium brands and high street beauty. When telling a Korean friend of the British companies arrival, she asked ‘what brands do they have?’ and was shocked to hear the likes of MAC and Urban Decay. ‘We only get those in department stores, are you sure?’ This os nothing unusual to me as the UK version of Boots houses luxury brands such as Este Lauder, Lancome, Dior and YSL; the Korean equivalents however, do not. Packed with products that can’t be found on the shelves of it’s asian competitors, I think with work Boots has the potential to take on mammoth health store chains like Olive Young.
If you want to check out Boots Flagship Seoul, you can find it located next to Daiso.
Line 2, Euljiro 1-ga Station (을지로입구역) exit 1.