Before going to Korea, I told my family that I need to have a picture with that “Big-Brown-Teddy” in Myeong-dong. Yes, that was Brown from LINE and I won’t go home without having a picture with it. Also, I told myself that I need to buy that “Pink-Thingy” from KAKAO for my best friend. Yes, that was Apeach- (Jin Young for Agases).
I wasn’t really a “fan” of these applications, as I don’t use it and didn’t know the names of the characters. But seeing their stores in almost every place in Korea, I finally realized what I was missing out.
LINE and KAKAO characters are both very popular in Korea. These characters have been featured in various cosmetic items, making them as covers for their hand cream, cushion and even face mask. And, it doesn’t end there!
Coming to LINE STORE in Myeong-dong, I was in awe. The store itself looked like an amusement park, the only thing missing are the rides! Brown, the LINE bear, was in the middle of the store entrance- and people would line up just to get a picture with him!
LINE stationary items, essentials, toys and accessories were displayed at the ground floor. There was even a LINE cafe together with it! At the second floor, more LINE characters were waiting to take a photo! They were all so cute, I had to stay there for a long time. Displayed were LINE shirts, hoodies, and various apparels.
Next, the KAKAO store.
Coming to COEX mall, I accidentally bumped into KAKAO store. There’s actually not much difference between KAKAO and LINE store items but, regarding their “ambiance”, this particular KAKAO branch was rather a “typical” one.
KAKAO only had one floor in COEX and it was filled with people admiring the cuteness of these characters. The cashier was also having a great time! (You know what I mean ^^)
Majority of KAKAO’s items though were stuff toys- of the different “emotions” of their characters.
So, with this, who won the “store wars”?
Both of them!
Of course it really depends on which app are you most familiar with. But the fact that both LINE and KAKAO jumped out from that mobile application barrier, turning them into one of Korea’s most popular characters where people around the world can recognize, makes them both successful and worth visiting when you come to Korea.
Written Krew Member Maxx Chua