There might be only one place in Korea where shoppers can pick up dog bones, yogurt makers, gorilla masks, purses and fresh food in one stop: Pierrot. The discount chain is reimagining the way people shop in city centers like Seoul, focusing on the most exciting, engaging parts of the process.
Describing itself as a “fun and crazy” destination, Pierrot operates a two-story location in Seoul’s Starfield Coexmall. The store carries over 40,000 off-price items, which are arranged in a kind of controlled chaos to emphasise product discovery. There are products for any need, plus unique spaces like a smoking room that looks like a subway. Pierrot encourages visitors to walk around and happen across items they might never have known they want.
Discount stores are experiencing a boom led by increasingly budget-conscious shoppers. According to a 2016 study by the NPD Group, two-thirds of all retail consumers shop off-price—and a 2018 report by the National Retail Federation reports that discount shoppers will seek deals regardless of income or age.
Pierrot works by bringing a sense of humour to the shopping experience. (Employees even wear uniforms that read “I don’t know where that is, either.”) With unusual features, a dizzying array of options and a more-is-more approach to retail, it’s an experience that could hint at the way stores will work in the future.