Sales of Chusok Gifts Up With a Polarizing TrendSales of gift packages for the Chusok holiday increased this year, but with a polarizing trend. Sales of high-end gifts of 500,000 won and low-end items of 100,000 won or less increased.
According to Lotte Department Store, gift packages of 500,000 won ($455) left stores at a pace of 300 per day. Daily sales typically included 10 to 20 bottles of 800,000 won per bottle whiskey and about 30 packages each of beef and mushroom gift packages priced between 500,000 and 600,000 won.
Sales of mid-range gift items priced at 100,000 to 200,000 won decreased from last year, however.
Overall sales at department stores and large discount outlets are up from last year. Over the 11 days prior to Chusok, gift certificates of 600 billion won were sold, a 71 percent increase over last year's numbers.
Lotte's 5 stores racked up sales of 123.9 billion won, a 37 percent increase over last year's corresponding period, and 113 billion won in gift certificates, up 95 percent. Hyundai and Shinsegae department stores also reported increased sales of both goods and gift certificates.
Chusok, corresponding to the Thanksgiving holiday, is Korea's most gift-intensive holiday. Chusok shoppers in recent years are shifting to department stores and giant discount stores, shunning the more traditional markets.
by Kim Tae-jin