A two-week-long government-initiated discount sale campaign kicked off yesterday. Dubbed the South Korean version of the U.S.'s post-Thanksgiving Black Friday shopping spree, luxury department stores, large discount chains, convenience stores, traditional markets, and even online shopping malls are taking part in this mega sales event, with upwards of 50-70 percent price cuts to be offered to consumers from Oct. 1 until Oct 14.
In a bid to bolster sluggish domestic consumption and woo foreign shoppers, the government took a cue from the U.S and decided to launch an extended, local version of Black Friday this year.
The Korean economy has been hit hard by record low outbound shipments and sagging local consumption. Exports fell 14.9 percent year-on-year in Aug. and 6.3 percent for the first eight months of this year. By launching the massive shopping promotion campaign, the government hopes to make up for falling exports and generate much-needed growth.
Participating retailers include three major department stores ― Lotte, Shinsegae, and Hyundai ― and three discount store chains ― E-Mart, Homeplus, and Lotte Mart. Some dining franchises will also offer deep discounts to consumers during the 15-day period.
Lotte Department Store will offer 720 fashion and other consumer goods brands at up to 70 percent discounted prices. Hyundai Department Store will also cut prices of fashion items by as much as 80 percent. Ten outlets of Shinsegae Department Store will launch a discount campaign for outdoor wear, with prices slashed by 40 to 80 percent.
Discount store franchises like Emart, Lotte Mart, and Home Plus will also jump on the bandwagon. Emart said that it will cut prices of 1,000 household goods by half, while Lotte Mart will halve the prices of clothes and 3,000 household items during the 15-day period. Homeplus will also lower the price tags of home electronics by 40 percent.
In addition, the CU store, the nation's largest convenience store franchise, plans to slash prices of carbonated water and other popular items by 50 percent.
E-commerce sites, including 11st Street and Auction, plan to offer their own versions of discount events, including introducing different lists of discounted items every day for the next 15 days, or offering shoppers discount coupons.