Korea’s second Black Friday deemed successful

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Korea’s second Black Friday deemed successful

Domestic online retailers’ efforts to lure consumers back from global e-commerce sites partially paid off on Friday as many Korean shoppers opened their digital wallets at the Korean Black Friday event.

Ten local online shopping malls designated Dec. 12 as their own version of America’s Black Friday shopping extravaganza, which is held the day after Thanksgiving.

Many items including iPhones and Canada Goose outerwear sold out in minutes and the term Korea Black Friday was one of the most searched on portal sites.

Ellotte under Lotte Group, Hyundai Hmall, 11th Street, CJ O Shopping, Galleria Mall and five other malls offered specials with discounts of 50-70 percent on Friday.

Some of the most popular offers came from 11th Street, one of the largest B2C e-commerce sites in Korea, which is affiliated with SK Group.

It sold the iPhone 6s for 425,000 won ($386) at designated times, which is half the regular retail price.

The iPhone 6s sold out in seconds, 11th Street said.

“We opened the iPhone offers at 12, 3 and 6 p.m.,” said a marketing manager of 11th Street.

“As the designated times approached, we saw skyrocketing traffic and the products sold in seconds.”

Also popular was a padded down jacket by Canada Goose on 11th Street, which was available for half price at 274,500 won.

The jacket was sold out in 3 minutes.

Some consumers complained that the quantity of products was too limited.

For example, about 20 iPhones were on sale during each time slot, and 11th Street offered only 36 half-price down jackets.

Other participating shopping malls enjoyed similar large influxes of buyers.

With 200 items on sale, Hyundai Hmall’s most popular item was a watch by Marc Jacobs.

Along with discounts, Ellotte and Lotte.com provided additional loyalty points if consumers use a Lotte Card.

The two online malls affiliated with Lotte Group focused on offering discounts on their best-selling products.

Industry sources said the one-day event will significantly boost business for the 10 online malls, estimating the combined sales to be 100 billion won.

11th Street had high expectations after last year’s Black Friday event generated record sales.

“Last year, we achieved the highest sales record for a day on Dec. 13,” said Park Joon-young, marketing director of 11th Street.

“This year, we have cooperated with other retailers and it attracted more attention than last year. So we expect the sales results are going to be even better.”

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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