CJ NowVIPS adopts a premium strategy to live with COVID-19, planning to increase the number of specialized branches by up to 70%
VIPS by CJ Foodville (CEO Chan Ho Kim) announced that it will increase the number of specialized branches by up to 70% by the end of this year and accelerate its premium strategy. To live with COVID-19, the brand plans on expanding its market using a premium strategy that fulfills everything from stores to menus and services.
Expanding specialized premium branches such as ‘Premier’ and ‘Taste Up+’ in addition to original VIPS branches by the end of this year
▶ VIPS Premier Mokdong 41 Tower
VIPS had made bold investments by constantly increasing the number of specialized premium branches like ‘Premier’ and ‘Taste Up+’ despite the tough conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The brand expects the premium branches to become the most suitable food service model in living with COVID-19. With the continuous polarization trend in food service, consumers will maintain high-end consumption with an emphasis on top quality regardless of price.
▶ Panorama of VIPS Premier Deungchon
The first VIPS restaurant as well as the Premier branch in Deungchon maintains top sales among all VIPS branches nationwide, and Mokdong 41 Tower in the concept of a sky lounge increases customer satisfaction as a local attraction. Branches that have been renewed based on big data, such as trade areas and customer lifestyles, have produced better results than anticipated, and this is now being established as a successful business model in the market.
The charcuterie zone stands out in specialized branches, filled with unlimited wine service, various kinds of cheese, ham, and other items
▶The charcuterie zone presented by VIPS specialized branches
The part that captures the most attention in these specialized branches is the charcuterie zone with unlimited wine, beer, various kinds of cheese, and tapas. Charcuterie refers to processed meat products such as jamon, prosciutto, and jambon, which are made through different methods, such as salting, smoking, and drying. In addition to charcuterie, which goes well with wine, there are various kinds of cheese including camembert, Emmental, Grana Padano, and bocconcini, along with tapas like crackers, bread, apple and berry compote with tangy fruits, and nuts. It is still not a familiar concept in Korea, but it was adopted with expertise to provide a different kind of experience and pleasure for customers.
In addition to making the branches more luxurious, VIPS also differentiated the concept by increasing the options for premium branches so that customers can choose what they want according to their taste. VIPS Premier has interior decorations like a luxury hotel with the concept of ‘premium steak dining,’ while VIPS Taste Up+ has a trendy and casual mood. There is also a game room and other amenities around the restaurant for the entire family to enjoy, and the dishes on the menu offer the optimum taste and flavor based on all kinds of specialized facilities.
Improving the menu using premium ingredients, such as abalones, pine mushrooms, and lobsters, and expanding the customer experience that can be enjoyed only when dining in the restaurant by adopting a robot service
▶ VIPS Wood Fire Grill
VIPS is also striving to use premium ingredients focusing on health for its menu as well. Recently, the brand has presented new dishes using energy-boosting ingredients like abalones, eels, and duck. VIPS is also considering using lobsters and crabs as signature items following pork ribs and salmon. Lobster pasta on the delivery menu seems promising, and this is already inducing positive customer feedback. Later this year, VIPS will further maximize customer satisfaction by applying premium ingredients to its current steak dishes and salad bar.
VIPS is also promoting its robot service to expand a type of customer experience that can be enjoyed only when dining in the restaurant. The brand is also considering adopting more rice noodle robots and serving robots currently used in only a few branches and also introducing AI robots that interact with customers. VIPS has also carefully considered the hygienic conditions by making faucets and restroom doors contact-free in case many customers visit.
“We’ve been making all kinds of necessary arrangements this year to increase the satisfaction of patrons, as part of getting ready to live with COVID-19,” said Hee-seong Byeon, head of the Food Service Division at CJ Foodville. “Having already proved the possibility that the specialized branches would succeed, we’re going to meet the subdivided customer needs by increasing the number of specialized branches from the current 50% to 70%.”