E·Land Group (hangul:이랜드그룹) is a South Korean conglomerate headquartered in Chanjeon-dong Mapo-gu Seoul, South Korea. It started as a 6 square metres small clothing shop on a fashion street in front of Ewha University in Sinchon in 1980. E.Land Group became a USD 10 billion group of companies, creating the phrase "Legend of 6 sqm (hangul:2평의 신화)". E.Land Group now takes part in retail malls, restaurants, theme parks, hotels and construction businesses as well as its cornerstone, fashion apparel business. It has operations worldwide through its subsidiary E-Land World, including China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, United States, Europe (England, Italy).
In the 1980s, E.Land Group revolutionised the retail channel by pioneering new markets using a franchising system. Franchising system is one of the most profitable forms of retail distribution due to its low initial investment requirement when opening new stores. Its first ever brand was called "England", which later changed to "E-Land" due to restrictions on trademark registration.
During the Asian financial crisis of 1997, E.Land Group successfully carried out several corporate reform initiatives, including corporate restructuring, overhaul of its finances and transformation of its management system. As a result, E.Land Group became the 37th largest corporation in Korea (excluding SOE's) with assets totalling over 2 billion USD as of the end of 2005.
E.Land Group transformed Korean apparel retailing, which was historically divided into high-priced department stores and low-priced traditional markets, by creating a new medium-priced market using street shops. This market has now grown to over USD 20 billion in 2006. E.Land Group currently takes part in fashion apparel, hypermart retail, fashion outlet malls, department stores, hotels and restaurant businesses.
On 16 December 2011, E-Land purchased Elizabeth Taylor's Krupp Diamond ring for $8,818,500 (including buyer's premium). It planned to put it on display at their E-World theme park in Daegu.
It currently focuses on vertical integration of production and distribution of consumer goods that include apparel, groceries and housewares. Products are sold through two different channels, namely, approximately 5,000 franchise stores and E.Land Group owned stores consisting of 25 premium fashion discount stores, two department stores and 32 discount stores.
The strength of E.Land Group lies in its ability to generate synergies between its fashion and retail businesses, and this strategy being implemented through a business portfolio that includes infant wear, children's wear, women's wear, sports wear and underwear and a multitude of channels such as outlets, department stores and super supermarkets.
E.Land Group is currently the second largest retailer in South Korea based on number of stores as of September 2006 (Source: Korea Rating).
The Group's current retail business comprises Kim's Club, NC Department Store, NewCore Outlet, 2001 Outlet and DongA Department Store.
In 1994, E.Land Group introduced the first outlet in Korean market by opening the first store of 2001 Outlet. It took a form of multi story outlet stores with groceries, houseware and apparel.
In 2003, E.Land Group purchased a 75% stake in New Core, a department store operating in 25 different locations in Korea. Following the acquisition, New Core was transformed to and operated as two department stores and 15 fashion premium outlets.
In April 2006, E.Land Group acquired the entire South Korean operations of Carrefour which operated 32 discount stores. Carrefour Korea, despite its global presence and experiences overseas, struggled to understand the local Korean culture. Carrefour was rebranded to Homever by E.Land Group after the acquisition.
The acquisition moved E.Land Group from 6th to 2nd largest discount/outlet operators with respect to total number of stores.
Using experiences accumulated from prior operations of 2001 Outlet and NewCore Outlet, E.Land Group successfully integrated its winning strategy to revive the stores after the acquisition.
During 2007, E-Land received media attention regarding new Korean non-regular protection laws. E-land laid off more than 900 non-regular female cashiers at its affiliate retailers, Homever and New Core, just before the law went into effect on July 1, 2007. The group, instead, outsourced their jobs to workers from temporary agencies. The new law requires a company to grant its non-regular employees regular status after they have worked with the company for two years.
On 14 May 2008, the British retail group Tesco, which already operated in Korea, agreed to purchase 36 hypermarkets with a combination of food and non-food products from E-Land for $1.9 billion (976 million pounds) in its biggest single acquisition, making Tesco the second largest retailer in the country. The majority of the E-Land stores formerly belonged to French retailer Carrefour before 2006 and most of the stores will be converted to Tesco Homeplus outlets. Tesco's South Korean discount store chain, Home Plus, currently has 66 outlets.
E.Land Group owns 60 brands in Korea. CasualBrenntano
Deco & Netishion (Women's)Deco
96 New York
Women, kids, underwear and accessories:Mandarina Duck
Lochcarron of Scotland
The Day Girl
The Day Underwear
Paw in Paw
E-Land also operates the following global brands under license in South Korea:New Balance
Kensington Flora Hotel
EWorld Daegu (Former Woobang Land)
E-land Cruise (Former Han Liver Cruise)
Ashley: A New England-style family restaurant that targets female customers. Its buffet style salad bar features over 50 different menu items. Recently, E-land opened a cruise buffet(more than 90+ different menus) in Yeoeuido.
Rimini: An Italian restaurant that mainly serves pasta in an Italian-style interior setting.
Pizza Mall: An Italian-style pizza bar which was the first major restaurant chain in Korea to sell pizza at under 10,000 won (about $10 US) at the time of its launch in 1994. There are 35 markets in Korea in 2013.
Knowledge Management permeates the organisation, encouraging the generation of new ideas and sharing of best practices. E.Land's Knowledge Management network is superior to that of many leading global companies and therefore is constantly benchmarked by others.
E.Land Group has been recognised for best practices in their area by Forbes, Booz Allen and Harvard Business Review:2004: The Best Practice in Knowledge Management by Forbes
2005: Featured Harvard Business Review Case Study - The Right Stuff
2005: Used by SAP as a successful implementation case study for their ERP system
A 2007 incident in which Homever, a supermarket chain owned by E-Land Group, dismissed temporary workers, mostly women, and replaced them with outsourced employees to bypass a new law requiring that employees be given regular-worker status after a certain period. Dismissed employees and labor unions went on strike in front of the supermarket for 512 days until the matter was settled, with some employees reinstated. The events of this incident inspired the film Cart, directed by Boo Ji-young.
On April 14, 2014, E-Land Group announced that they will found professional football club based in Seoul and Seoul E-Land FC are competing in K League Challenge (Second division) since 2015.