Retail regulation in South Korea: The nobrand case

Jiyoon Cha, Yeonsoo Cho, Youngjin Yoon, Seungho Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines how NoBrand has faced legal regulations in Korea, and NoBrand’s transition to the franchise system to respond to regulatory changes (examined with a case analysis). In 2015, Emart, a Korean retail giant, launched its private brand (PB), NoBrand, to address stagnant sales. With advantages in price and quality due to supply chain management (SCM), NoBrand not only established a successful foothold, but also gained success in the market. Despite the rapid growth of NoBrand, it has faced government regulations that restrict its operations. To respond to these regulations, NoBrand changed its direct operating system to a franchise system that allows an individual owner to run his or her own NoBrand store. However, the transition triggered conflicts with both local stakeholders and other branches of its parent firm, Emart. By analyzing these conflicts, this study finds that Korean retail policy did not effectively protect small business owners as primarily aimed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was funded by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2020S1A5A2A01046005).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Case study
  • Franchise system
  • NoBrand
  • Regulation
  • Retail
  • Retail policy


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