Shinwoo Brunei Corporation Sdn Bhd (SBC) has opened their second outlet at the Empire Hotel & Country Club last week as they look to expand luxury retail options in Brunei.
Located on the ground floor of the Empire’s shopping arcade, SBC’s Modern Boutique sells mostly fashion accessories including sunglasses, watches and bags from brands including Givenchy, Maserati, Gucci and Oakley.
SBC Director Sung Weon Woo said their latest outlet will be able to cater to a larger market than their first location at the departure hall of the Brunei International Airport which opened in July last year.
“The feedback (from our airport store) was that more visitors and Bruneians would like to see us sell the products outside in a downtown area,” said Sung.
Although some of Modern Bouqitue’s stock have been taxed, Sung said SBC has kept the prices identical to their duty-free outlet at the airport.
“We can also vouch that our products are (list) priced very competitively against other (regional) countries; in fact we are selling many items cheaper here,” he added.
SBC is currently scouting for a third location, potentially in the capital or Gadong. Sung also said that talks have been progressing well with the Brunei government to invest and operate a factory that will manufacture premium consumer goods to be exported.
“One of the main items we discussed with the Brunei government was making a high quality (consumer) product in Brunei that we can export regionally as well as to Korea and even Europe,” said Sung.
SBC is owned by the Shinwoo Group, one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates with a portfolio spanning construction, trading, logistics as well as several duty-free shops.
SBC’s incorporation is part of a growing number of Korean retail businesses opening in Brunei. While South Korea has been an established buyer of Brunei’s oil and gas and won several large scale construction contracts in the Sultanate, expansion into retail and tourism has been relatively recent.
Korean tourists to Brunei reached an all-time high of 9,125 last year, more than triple the number three years ago.