Government hopes annual fall sale will yield more profits
Only 92 retailers and 200 traditional markets participated in last year’s grand sale, which was dubbed “Korea Black Friday.” This year, over 500 retailers and businesses are rolling out promotions.
“Both the public and private sectors will cooperate through the event to boost the local economy that has slowed, and this year’s festival will include a variety of events and special discounts to attract as many foreigners as possible to the country,” said Chung Jong-young, a director at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
There will be 43 key manufacturers, including Hyundai Motor and LG, 116 retailers and 400 traditional markets across the country joining the event this year.
During the sales period, retailers will offer discounts of 20 to 30 percent on big home appliances such as televisions, refrigerators and washers at participating stores. Hyundai Motor is knocking 5 to 10 percent off the price of 5,000 units of its Grandeur and Santa Fe models.
“Many have criticized last year’s Black Friday event for not offering big discounts and the types of goods on sale for not being diverse,” said an official at the Trade Ministry. “So the government diversified goods by having more retailers and companies participate in this year’s event.”
Three big social commerce retailers, including Coupang and Ticket Monster, will join this year’s sale for the first time.
Social commerce and online retailers will have different themes for every day of the week to promote various items. For example, they plan to designate Tuesday as “Fashion Day” to give special offers on fashion-related items and Wednesday as “Digital Day” to offer discounts on electronics and home appliances.
The Trade Ministry said the online retailers will cooperate with couriers to reduce shipping fees. Domestic delivery charges will be lowered 10 to 20 percent, and customers purchasing goods from overseas will enjoy delivery savings of 33 percent.
To attract tourists from abroad, the government will hand out free transportation cards that can be used on subways and buses. Foreign tourists with the card will also be eligible to receive special discounts from retailers and stores participating in the sale.
The government will also offer a 50 percent discount on baggage shipping between airports and lodging.
The grand sale will open with a concert on Yeongdong-daero, a major thoroughfare in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, on Sept. 30. The concert will begin at 6 p.m., and some 20 K-pop stars, including Wonder Girls and Sistar, are scheduled to perform. The ministry said it will be aired in 120 countries around the world.
BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [firstname.lastname@example.org]