Big Stores to Breathe Life into Gwangmyeong

Some 18 big retail, IT and medical companies will set up shop in the neighborhood of Gwangmyeong Station in Gyeonggi Province. They include the world's largest furniture store chain IKEA, U.S. wholesaler Costco, and Osstem Implant, the world's No. 4 dental equipment supplier.

The Korea Land and Housing Corporation said Monday that the companies concluded deals to build headquarters, research facilities or production lines on the 53,000 sq. m property. They are expected to create over 10,000 new jobs and help the area become a new business hub in the southwestern part of the Seoul metropolitan area, the corporation said.

IKEA is building its first shop in Korea there by 2014. The Swedish furniture firm expects the store in Gwangmyeong to be the largest or second-largest among its shops in Asia. Costco is to open a new outlet on the fifth floor of Gwangmyeong Station this September.

Industry insiders forecast that the two outlets will turn the surrounding area into a thriving business district and attract more visitors to the huge station, which now only sees a trickle of passengers.

The influx of firms in the area is due to cheaper land prices than in Seoul and projects for an expansive transportation network.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 18, 2012 12:10 KST