Chinese snap up bargains during Korea Grand Sale

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Chinese snap up bargains during Korea Grand Sale

Local department stores did brisk business during the two-month-long Korea Grand Sale, a promotion that was designed to attract foreign shoppers, retail industry sources said yesterday.

Sources said purchases made by foreigners at Shinsegae Department Store, one of the country’s leading luxury retailers, jumped 69 percent from Jan. 9 through yesterday from a year earlier.

Of those gains, 70 percent of Shinsegae’s sales at its main downtown outlet were to Chinese nationals who visited the country during the period.

“The department store reported credit card payments by Chinese visitors surged 142 percent on-year,” an insider said. On average, a Chinese shopper spent between 2.5 million to 3.0 million won ($2,235 - $2,682) at Shinsegae’s flagship store, with many buying foreign luxury products, clothing and cosmetics, he added.

Lotte Department Store, another luxury brand outlet, said it also saw a surge in foreign visitors who, over the past few months, were eligible for cash refunds on purchased products when they left the country.

In particular, credit card sales to Chinese customers increased 130 percent on-year, it said.

Retailers added that, in addition to luxury brands, foreigners showed a strong interest in health tonics, traditional side dishes and dried laver. Yonhap

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