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In terms of its economic size, South Korea ranks fourth in Asia and twelfth worldwide. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world in terms of population. Approximately 49% of the country's total population lives in Seoul and the Seoul Metropolitan Area. Korea has approximately 25 million people living in Seoul and the Gyeonggi area. Of these, 10 million live in Seoul. Major commercial areas include Myeongdong (north of the Han River) and Gangnam (south of the Han River). The region holds almost 42% of all retail establishments in Korea, while Busan, Korea's second largest city, only accounts for 8.8% of Korea's retail stores and shops. Korea's retail market is mainly driven by high street shops and department stores that are primarily owned and operated by Korean conglomerates that are able to dominate the market due to their strong financial capability and huge organisational capacity. Western-style shopping malls have less but fast-growing presence. There is high potential for brand expansion in South Korea by global brands owing to the size of the Korean economy, its potential for growth, and its trend-sensitive consumers.

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