Discount chains line up bargains to challenge Black Friday

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Discount chains line up bargains to challenge Black Friday

Big discount chains are set to tap into the nationwide sales season by providing bargains on a variety of products to compete with Black Friday in the United States.

Lotte Mart, the country’s third-largest supermarket chain, will slash prices on its own products, starting today through Dec. 9. The 4,000 discounted goods will range from fresh and processed food to household items.

The retailer will offer discounts based on the number of products customers buy. If a shopper buys two discounted goods, the discount rate is 10 percent, but the rate will rise to 30 percent if the customer picks up three Lotte Mart-manufactured items that fall under the discount category.

The event comes as other retailers, such as department stores Lotte and Shinsegae and e-commerce sites, are engaging in the sales event dubbed K-Sale Day ahead of the United States’ biggest retail event, Black Friday.

Local retailers are concerned that the massive shopping event in the United States will draw local consumers as cross-border e-commerce platforms have made it easier for consumers to shop worldwide.

“To stimulate domestic consumption, we decided to hold the discount event,” said Byun Ji-hyun, director of the marketing strategy division at Lotte Mart.

E-Mart, the largest player, will offer up to 50 percent off electronic appliances and household items such as fabric softeners from today for a week. The big-box retailer will devote a section to selling winter clothes and other items at cheaper prices.

Rival Homeplus is also getting involved by offering up to 50 percent discounts on 5,600 daily necessities. The event will run from today to Dec. 9.

Online retailers are also gearing up to lure both local and Chinese consumers away from the Black Friday deals in the U.S.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Tuesday that 25 online markets such as Gmarket, Interpark and WeMakePrice will offer discounts of up to 80 percent from Thursday to Saturday.

To make deals more attractive, Korea Post will take 36 percent off shipping fees for Chinese consumers who place orders on Korean online shopping malls.

The K-Sale kicked off earlier this month with Hyundai Department Store and Lotte Department Store offering big discounts.

Hyundai Department Store rented a section of the COEX exhibition center to host what it describes as an “unprecedented” sales event. It is the first time the store chain held a discount event outside its premises.


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



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