A shop that loves the day before rain washes in more customersMost people would probably say the most umbrellas are sold on rainy days. They would be wrong by a day. Woo Hye-ryong, manager of Waterfront Totes, an umbrella shop, says the day before a drizzle is forecast is when the most umbrellas are sold.
The most surprising thing about this shop is the staggering variety of umbrellas for sale. One canopy has a picture of a blue sky inside, so its owner can enjoy the weather even on a dreary day. Another has a map of the London Underground printed inside and out. Umbrellas cost from 9,900 won ($8.40) to 52,000 won at Waterfront Totes.
The store takes its name from two well-known umbrella brands: Waterfront of Japan and Totes of the United States.
The most popular items, according to Ms. Woo, are those that can double as a parasol since they are usually small enough to fit easily in a purse.
So what makes Waterfront Totes’s umbrellas special? “Their longevity,” Ms. Woo says. “Our umbrellas are strictly top quality. So no matter how much rain they take, they will continue to repel water and they definitely will not rust.” Rust, she says, is like cancer for an umbrella and will shorten its life considerably.
Another thing that Waterfront Totes is proud of is its after-sales service. Ms. Woo says that if anything goes wrong with one of their umbrellas they will fix it within 10 days for just 1,000 won. But she also stresses that the repair service is available only for umbrellas bought at their shop. “Many people come into our shop with umbrellas that they bought somewhere else and ask us to repair them,” she says. “Waterfront Totes is a retail shop, it is not an umbrella repair center.”
Location: 56-104, Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun district. Across from front gate of Ewha Womans University.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Telephone: (02) 392-3810
by Kim Hae-young
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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