Retailers slash prices in half to fete anniversaries

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Retailers slash prices in half to fete anniversaries

Large discount stores are holding a series of super sales, with several offering sweeping discounts of 50 percent as customers reel from skyrocketing inflation.

E-Mart announced yesterday that it will wipe half the cost off 2,000 items for three weeks from today in appreciation of its customers’ loyalty, as it marks the 19th anniversary since its grand opening. This marks the biggest sale in its history and takes prices back to where they were a decade ago, it said.

Customers can save 54 percent on the most popular items, according to an employee at the chain.

Pork belly is being sold for 850 won ($0.77) per 100 grams (3.5 ounces), down 43 percent; eggs are down 46 percent to 2,800 won for 30; Pulmuone Tofu is retailing at 3,400 won per 300 grams, making it exactly half price; and Chongga Food’s kimchi (3.7 kilograms) is 46 percent cheaper at 14,100 won.

“We have prepared the largest discount event for customers, who have been hit by the deepening recession,” said Choi Byung-ryul, E-Mart’s CEO.

Lotte Mart and Lotte Shopping are also halving their prices on 1,000 items over the same period to celebrate their 33rd year of doing business.

The former is selling 3.5 kilograms of tangerines from Seogwipo on Jeju - the store’s most popular fruit in winter - for 8,900 won from today until next Wednesday, making them 30 percent cheaper than the market price.

Naju Pears are down 25 percent frozen pork belly is 40 percent lower. Warm underwear was also included among the sales items as the mercury has nosedived in the last week.

Lotte Mart is also running special daily discounts of up to 50 percent on popular meats such as Australian bulgogi, or marinated beef, smoked duck and pork hind leg.

“We plan to introduce a variety of discounts in the next three weeks on popular items,” said Choi Choon-seok, director of Lotte Mart’s product division.

By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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