Guide to Seoul’s Hannam-dong commercial district

Hannam-dong has become Seoul’s one of the most successful commercial districts, with trendy businesses congregating to its hub, forming a cultural cluster.

August 27, 2021

Hannam-dong market overview

Hannam-dong consists of a 650m straight road starting from Cheil Communication to COMME-des-GARÇONS, also called “COMME-des-Road”. The surrounding alleys include Hannam café street. Hannam-dong has been on the cutting edge of high-end culture, backed by strong demand from luxury apartments and the recent redevelopment of old houses turning into commercial facilities. Although a few hundred metres away from the culturally diverse Itaewon district, Hannam-dong displays different originality by grafting upscale features. Age groups in their 20s and 30s take up about 40% of the total floating population in Hannam, recording 55,771 visitors a day on average. This figure has been increasing for four consecutive months.

Figure 1: Map of Hannam-dong Commercial District

Source: JLL Korea, 2Q21

Figure 2: Floating population in Hannam-dong

Source: Small Enterprise and Market Service, Estimated figures as of 2Q21

A trend-setting neighbourhood

Offline retails are evolving from being a point-of-purchase to enhancing customer experience. Corporates targeting young generations are on the go to open offline retails in Hannam-dong. They are filling up the space with experience-oriented elements to differentiate themselves from others. Hannam-dong is perceived as one of the cultural hubs, with art museums and theatre halls nearby. Starting from Leeum Samsung Museum of Art to galleries like Foundry Seoul, NEMO and Pace—a leading contemporary art gallery, as well as cultural spaces such as Blue Square, Hyundai Card Music Library and Hyundai Card Storage, are located on the main street.

Figure 3: Key tenants in Hannam-dong

Art Gallery Cultural Space Flagship Store Automobile Showroom
Leeum Samsung Art Museum Blue Square
(musical theatre)
Gucci Gaok
Fmk Maserati
Pace Gallery Hyundai Card Storage
(exhibition space)
Meister Motors Volkswagen
Foundry Seoul Hyundai Card Music Library
Maxim Plant
Deutsch Motors BMW
Space Shinseon Sounds Hannam
(multi-cultural complex)
KCC Auto Mercedes Benz
NEMO Nine One Hannam
(Gana Art, Gourmet 494)
Series Corner
(Fashion, F&B, Beauty)
Aju Networks Jaguar LandRover
Gallery BK Amado Art Space/lab
(art space)
Hyundai Motors

Source: JLL Korea, 2Q21

Luxury brands are opening flagship stores marked with their brand identity in response to Hannam-dong’s rich cultural infrastructure. Gucci Gaok’s first exclusive store opened North of Han-river in June 2021. Its interior is furnished with interactive art and other entertainment features. On the other hand, Montblanc Creative Studio, an experience-oriented flagship store presented by the collaboration of Montblanc X Maison Kitsune, also joined the street in July 2021. Luxury brands in COMME-des street are relatively new emerging brands, representing the latest trends, like Le Labo. These developments entice millennials and generation Z, who prefer high-end lifestyles but still desire individuality to some extent.

Figure 4: Hannam-dong industry breakdown

Source: Small Enterprise and Market Service, Estimated figures as of 2Q21

Furthermore, Hannam-dong is also concentrated with some fancy restaurants and cafés. They appeal to customers with their unique elements: Gongi provides fusion Korean dishes in a modern style; Mutin offers a selection of natural wines paired with its signature French dishes; and Knotted & Downtowner Hannam, restaurant brands of Downtowner Co., serves American-style casual meals and desserts. The Hannam-dong area is also renowned for vegan food of every kind, unlike other commercial districts. In fact, F&B takes up more than 70% of all business types, especially cafés growing in numbers, reaching 82 in April, compared to 64 in the pre-COVID era.

Hannam-dong has the potential to develop into a self-sustainable market on the back of strong purchasing power with luxury residential complexes such as Hannam The Hill, Nine One Hannam and UN Village. Future demand is also likely to be strong with the Hannam New Town Re-development project in the pipeline.