중앙데일리

Seasonal sales underway

Retailers slash prices on older clothes, jewelry, other goods to unload inventory

Nov 28,2009
A large crowd of customers milled about the event hall on the second floor of the Shinsegae Department Store’s main branch in northern Seoul at 11 a.m. yesterday, just 30 minutes after the retailer opened.

Like most of the other shoppers on hand, Kim Hyeon-ja came for the bargains.

“For this brand you’d normally have to pay 300,000 won ($255.25) to 400,000 won, but it is now 50-percent off,” the 54-year-old said, referring to one of the coats on display.

Most department stores nationwide started their last seasonal sales of the year yesterday, bringing out deal-seeking consumers in droves.

Department stores in Korea say that roughly 90 percent of their overall sales come from just 10 percent of their customers, the VIP clients who shell out a lot of money.

These seasonal sales are for the rest of the shopping population, specifically those who are looking for deals. The clothes on display at these sales are older. Some were hot commodities in the fall, while others made their debut a year or two ago.

Department stores sell anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of their new seasonal clothes in the months after they are first introduced. The remaining inventory is then put on display at these seasonal sales for discounts of anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent. If they remain unsold, the items make another appearance at future sales events at even bigger discounts.

“Clothing that’s around a year old goes for 40 percent to 60 percent off the original price, while watches and jewelry a year old are listed at about 25 percent less than the original price,” said Hong Jeong-pyo, head of marketing at Shinsegae Department Store.

Luxury brand items that haven’t sold in a year are sent to premium outlet malls or included in sales for VIP customers or company employees. Other items are sold to smaller stores for up to 80 percent off the original price tag, and those that still can’t find buyers are shipped overseas.


By Kim Sung-tak [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]
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