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Valentine’s Day is for lovers, merchandisers

Feb 08,2019
From left: Sex toy maker Tenga’s “Eggs” come in a chocolaty brown this February. Grocery chain Emart is expanding its in-house brand Peacock’s dessert offerings from 27 to 45 this year. [TENGA, EMART]
After the Lunar New Year festivities, companies are shifting gears and restocking their shelves with chocolates and flowers for Valentine’s Day.

The romantic holiday is a much-celebrated occasion in Korea by couples. Exchanges of sweets and other gifts are a must.

Retailers like Emart believe this Valentine’s Day could hit record sales thanks to good timing.

According to Emart, past data shows that Valentine’s Day sales in years when the holiday fell on a weekday after the Lunar New Year were higher than other years. The theory is that if Lunar New Year day - which changes yearly following the lunar calendar - arrives late, it eclipses the lesser Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Emart said Thursday it was stocking 12 billion won ($10.68 million) worth of Valentine’s Day goods and expanding its in-house brand Peacock’s dessert offerings like fruit pies and cappuccino cakes from 27 varieties to 45 this year.

“As Valentine’s Day evolves from a day of simply exchanging chocolates and candy into a day for friends and lovers to have parties together, we expanded our range of desserts due to rising demand,” read an Emart statement.

Beverage and dessert makers are hoping to win over romantics this Valentine’s Day with new sweets.

Starbucks Korea is launching two specialty beverages and 23 types of merchandise like tumblers and silicone molds for chocolate to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is the first time since 2015 that it is offering a Valentine’s Day-special beverage. [STARBUCKS KOREA]
Starbucks Korea launched caffe mocha and white chocolate drinks topped with red heart-shaped chocolates today, along with 23 different Valentine’s Day merchandise including water bottles and silicone molds for chocolates.

Nongshim Kellogg began selling special gift sets made up of Choco Crunch snacks, heart-shaped cards and dried flowers.

Aside from sweets, lingerie and sex toy makers are hoping that lovers will be a bit more adventurous when choosing gifts for one another.

Japanese sex toy maker Tenga’s signature “Egg” products for men will get special Valentine’s Day packaging. The products, which originally come in white, will be available in dark brown colors and vibrant patterns - resembling chocolate eggs - throughout this month.

Shinsegae Department Store has focused on a non-food product for this Valentine’s Day: women’s underwear. Products from its in-house lingerie brand Uncut will be sold at a 50 percent discount through Feb. 17. Matching couple’s underwear will be offered for up to 60 percent off.

The department store is hoping to recapture its upbeat lingerie sales from last year, when women’s underwear sales grew 17.8 percent year on year during a two-week Valentine’s Day promotion.

Other businesses are taking Valentine’s Day as a marketing opportunity to appeal to dateless singles by giving them free giveaways.

Men’s skin care maker DTRT is launching an “anything-you-want” giveaway campaign for singles.

After hopefuls submit what they want for Valentine’s Day on the company’s website, DTRT will choose one submission and grant the applicant’s wish.

Restaurant franchise Bon Dosirak and beverage manufacturer Ildong Foodis teamed up this year to offer lunch box giveaways for singles who follow their Instagram accounts.


BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]


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