Retailers go for gold in snack sales

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Retailers go for gold in snack sales

For sports fans out there, life doesn’t get any better than a couch, the Olympics, a wide-screen TV and some beer and snacks. With the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics kicking off this week, local retailers are hoping for a boost in beer and food sales during the games because many events will be broadcast late at night in Korea, which is prime snacking time.

Lotte Mart, the discount chain owned by Lotte Group, said yesterday that from today it will offer special discounts on food items it expects to be popular among consumers throughout the Olympics period. Imported beer in cans and bottles, soft drinks and dried snacks like peanuts will be sold at discounts of up to 50 percent, it said.

“Our analysis on when the Korean teams play their games showed that they will normally play between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Korean time,” said an official from Lotte Mart. “That’s evenings and nights, so we decided to offer consumers late-night snacks at discounted price.”

The opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia, is scheduled for 1:14 a.m. on Saturday, Korean time. The time difference between Russia and Korea is five hours. The games run for two weeks, and the closing ceremony will be held on Feb. 23.

In the first week - from today to Feb. 12 - Lotte Mart will sell nine different imported beers including Asahi Super Dry and Tsingtao at discounts of up to 45 percent. All nine different beers will be sold at a fixed price of 2,400 won ($2.23) per can during that period. The retailer will also sell six different types of dried snacks, including beef jerky at discounts of up to 20 percent.

In the second week, from Feb. 13 to 19, the beer sale will continue, accompanied by ready-made food such as pizza and smoked duck at discounts of up to 30 percent. In the third week (until Feb. 26), it plans on holding an event selling wine and cheese at a 50 percent discount.

“We plan to offer consumers discounts on a variety of food and snacks in all weeks during the Olympics,” said Jung Jae-woo, head of marketing strategy at Lotte Mart.

Rival E-Mart, the discount chain owned by Shinsegae Group, also said yesterday that from today to Feb. 23 it will offer late-night snacks at discounts of up to 30 percent. A box of its crispy fried chicken, for example, will be sold for 6,980 won, while a ready-made pork cutlet will go for 4,980 won.

A six pack of 330-mililiter cans of Heineken beer will be sold for 10,000 won, while a six pack of Carlsberg will go for 8,990 won.


BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]
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