SPA retailers drop their prices for summer sales

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SPA retailers drop their prices for summer sales

Growing competition in the local fast fashion industry is forcing both foreign and domestic brands to bring down their prices by offering special sales.

Ever since Uniqlo arrived in Korea in 2005, the so-called special retailer of private-label apparel (SPA) industry has only grown. Last year, the industry’s total sales reached 3 trillion won ($2.9 billion), according to Samsung Design Net. Next year, its sales are expected to reach 4 trillion won.

To grab customers’ attention, industry players are offering special prices for summer sales. They include the big three foreign SPA brands - Uniqlo, Zara and H&M - and E-Land’s SPAO and Samsung Everland’s 8ight Seconds.

From yesterday, Uniqlo kicked off a summer promotion called “Special Weeks.” Until July 10, it is offering discounts on major items including Uniqlo T-shirts (UT), AIRism innerwear and Polo shirts. As part of the first round of the event, which continues until next Thursday, consumers will be offered AIRism bra camisoles and tank tops at 24,900 won, which is a 5,000 won discount from the original price.

Also, the brand’s UT collection - including shirts designed by musician Pharrell Williams - are selling for 12,900 won, down 7,000 won from the original price. Skinny-fit jeans are priced at 39,900 won, down from 49,900 won.

H&M is also offering discounts of up to 60 percent. Zara will begin offering up to 50 percent discounts on items starting Thursday.

The combined sales last year of these three brands exceeded 1 trillion won for the first time since Uniqlo entered the market in 2005. According to the Financial Supervisory Service, the three brands’ total sales reached 1.04 trillion won last year, up 30.68 percent from the previous year.

That is almost one-third of the revenues of the country’s entire fast fashion industry.

“We expect sales to continuously grow as consumers will continue to look for reasonably priced fashion items while the country’s economic recovery is still slow,” said an industry official.

Domestic brands are also offering special prices to compete with the foreign brands.

E-Land has started a sale that will continue until July 10. Items will be sold at discounts of up to 50 percent. Samsung Everland’s 8ight Seconds kicked off its summer sale on Thursday. Throughout this month, it is offering up to 40 percent discounts on its main items including shorts, dresses and accessories.

“Our strength in the industry compared to others is that we are able to offer sizes that fit Korean body types and also satisfy local trends,” said Kim Jung-mi, a director of 8ight Seconds. “We will solidify our brand differentiation in the market.”

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




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