Black Friday retail sales in U.S. spread to Korean online malls

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Black Friday retail sales in U.S. spread to Korean online malls

About 45 percent of Korean consumers said they have purchased goods during the Black Friday sales in the United States, according to a survey of 1,400 consumers by 11st,?an online shopping mall.

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States, falling on the Friday following?Thanksgiving Day. It is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, when?most major retailers?offer sales.

Although the phenomenon is not well known to purely domestic consumers, Koreans who go for foreign brands know Black Friday well.

The online shopping mall 11st has been holding its 2013 Black Friday Sale since Tuesday. The sale runs until Dec. 1 and offers discounts on 500 popular overseas brands. The online shopping mall predicts the number of consumers directly purchasing foreign brands during this season will increase significantly.

“There have been many cases where products are often sold out and delivery services are delayed on the actual Black Friday due to high demand,” said Eoh Ji-hyeon, overseas shopping team manager at 11st. “We prepared the Black Friday event since Tuesday so consumers could shop for their wish lists of popular brands at affordable prices.”

According to 11st, the process of direct purchasing is made through local U.S. sellers selling goods in its mall, which is cheaper than importing goods and paying duties.

“Based on the individual import clearance, when Korean residents purchase products from overseas through open markets, the tariffs are exempted if the purchase is less than 150,000 won [$141], but when it exceeds 150,000 won, the consumer is generally subject to a 13 percent tariff and 10 percent VAT [value added tax],” said a spokeswoman for 11st.

Among consumers who said they plan to shop this Black Friday through foreign brands purchasing sites or open markets, 36 percent said they would spend 100,000 won or more, while 29 percent said 200,000 won or more and 22 percent said 50,000 won or more.

11st will discount foreign brands popular among domestic consumers such as Abecrombie, DKNY, Pandora, Nike, Canada Goose and Prada up to 45 percent. In particular, a Canada Goose Expedition Parka that retails for 1.2 million won at department stores will be sold for 800,000 won, and Abecrombie hoodies will be offered at around 20,000 won.

11st will also operate Black Hot Deals at 10 a.m. next Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which offer a limited number of foreign brand items at particularly low prices.

Another online open market, Auction, said it is also holding a Black Friday Sale next Monday for a week, offering 70 percent discounts on foreign brands. This year it expanded its product lines to fashion, beauty and living products.

It has prepared hoodies from Gap and Hollister at around 20,000 won to 30,000 won and various beauty products from Victoria’s Secret, L’Occitane and Crabtree & Evelyn.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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