Sochi events go well with beer, soju

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Sochi events go well with beer, soju

It’s been only four days since the Winter Olympics kicked off in Sochi last week, but local retailers including convenience stores are already seeing an increase in sales of food and beer. Sports fans are visiting stores at night because many events are being broadcast in Korea in the evenings.

According to 7-Eleven, a local convenience store chain operated by Lotte Group, sales at its stores nationwide from Friday to Sunday between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. jumped 16.6 percent compared to the previous year.

Also, based on the convenience store’s analysis, the number of customers visiting the stores surged 19.1 percent.

“Despite the cold weather, many items sold well, and sales of beer increased the most,” said an official from 7-Eleven.

Sales of beer jumped 25.7 percent over the same period while sales of frozen dumplings, a night-time snack, increased 18.1 percent.

Sales of chicken-related snacks also went up 18 percent, while sales of ready-made dosirak (lunch boxes) increased 22.8 percent and gimbap (seaweed rolls), 16.7 percent.

A large number of Olympics fans also enjoyed soju, with sales jumping 17.2 percent.

According to the retailer, consumers also purchased more coffee products, energy drinks, bubble gum and ice cream, “perhaps to drive away sleepiness.” Sales of those items increased more than 10 percent.

Sales of certain items at CU, the country’s largest convenience store chain, also increased. From Friday to Sunday, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., sales surged 17.2 percent compared to 2013.

The number of customers visiting CU stores nationwide also jumped 19.9 percent.

The most popular item sought by consumers was beer, with sales increasing 35.7 percent from the previous year, as well as soju, with sales jumping 25.9 percent.

Unlike large discount stores and mom-and-pop stores, convenience stores are open 24 hours a day.

But it’s not just convenience stores that are benefitting from the Winter Olympics.

Ahead of the opening events in Sochi, Russia, many consumers decided to upgrade to wide-screen televisions to enjoy a better view of the Games.

According to Lotte Hi-Mart, a local retailer of electronics goods, sales of Ultra HD TVs with screens of at least 50 inches wide jumped 230 percent from Feb. 1 to Feb. 29 compared to the year before.

The retailer benefitted from an increase in sales during previous international sporting events like the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Sales of its televisions jumped 44 percent in January and February of that year compared to the previous year.

The retailer noted that this year’s sales of high-quality televisions are expected to increase with several other sporting events scheduled throughout the year, including the Brazil World Cup in June and the Incheon Asian Games in September.


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

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