Home shopping channels sell prospect of marriage

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Home shopping channels sell prospect of marriage

Home shopping channels are now offering matchmaking services in addition to everything else under the sun, including light aircraft, apartments and used mattress rentals.

CJ O Shopping announced yesterday that it will sell discounted coupons to Sunoo, one of the nation’s popular matchmaking services, through its social commerce service.

This is the first time for a home shopping company in Korea to sell people the prospect of getting hitched.

Social commerce service O’Clock will sell two types of coupons for its “Sunoo matching service” for a week starting Monday at discounts of up to 50 percent.

The site’s “couple manager matching service” will have its price tag halved to 330,000 won ($293), while the cost of its “VIP matching service” will be slashed by 30 percent to 2.3 million won.

Both coupons can also be purchased as gifts for friends and family, the company said.

Customers who opt for the former are promised one or two dates a week for three months. A “couple manager” with at least 10 years’ experience will study each client’s profile to find the best match.

The second option delivers a total of seven to 10 meetings over a six-month period, but the couple manager will help with complicated wedding arrangements for those lucky enough to find their perfect match.

“Because the products have been greatly discounted, people looking to get married - or their parents - will welcome the news,” said Kim Yong-Chang, managing director of the two matchmaking products.

Home shopping channels are known to have sold unusual items in the past, but this marks a new departure in the field of romance.

CJ O Shopping sold 2,000 apartments through its TV marketing channel last November, while Honda Korea sold its Insight hybrid last month on the same channel.

Hyundai Home Shopping also recently put up for sale the Eurostar, an ultralight aerodynamically controlled airplane manufactured by Czech Republic-based Evektor-Aerotechnik. The channel also sold coupons offering flights on the aircraft.

Many large conglomerates operate home shopping channels on cable TV. They expect revenues to grow 20 percent this year on average, analysts said.

By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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