Festa sale spinoff starts this weekend for locals

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Festa sale spinoff starts this weekend for locals

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Department stores and Namdaemun Market will offer a final round of big discounts this weekend.

The government-promoted Korea Sale Festa for foreigners runs though Oct. 31. Another round of sales this weekend will be organized by individual companies for domestic consumers.

Lotte Department Store will hold a sale from Friday to Sunday. The Sogong branch will offer a special discount up to 80 percent on 12 women’s fashion brands. The Jamsil and Youngdeungpo branches will put outdoor brands on 30 to 70 percent sale.

“The weather got cold suddenly so we thought there would be more people looking for new fall and winter season jackets and coats,” said Lee Wan-shin, marketing director for Lotte Department Store.

Hyundai Department Store launched The Black Week sale on Thursday, which will continue until Sunday. All 15 branches will sell imported bedding on discount. Customers who buy more than designated amounts of certain men’s brands will be given gift cards equivalent to 10 percent of the payment. During similar past events, 5-percent gift cards were the norm.

Shinsegae Department Store is also targeting male customers during the last sale period. Its Men’s Week, which started Thursday, will run ten days through Oct. 23. Products on sale range from causal wear to men’s suits including Diesel and Rogatis brands, all discounted up to 75 percent.

“Men recently became an important customer group, as they account for four out of ten customers in department stores,” said Lee Sang-heon, manager for men’s wear at Shinsegae Department Store.

Namdaemun Market will also take part in the national sale Wednesday by opening the Namdaemun Market Festa. It is the largest traditional market in Korea.

There was a disagreement on the time street vendors would start work. They normally open at 5 p.m. and wanted to start two hours early, which store owners objected to.

The two sides eventually agreed the vendors would begin at 4 p.m.

“It’s a relief that Namdaemun Market finally put an end to the conflict and is participating in the national sale event,” said Joo Young-sup, head of the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA), on a visit to Namdaemun Market on Wednesday.

For three days starting from Oct. 19, the market’s merchant association will organize a flea market on the main street with 80 display stands packed with products including accessories, kitchen goods, interior goods and children’s clothes.

However, the market still seems to be unprepared. Some merchants said they weren’t aware of the event or had no plans to participate. A spokesman for the merchant association added, “Most merchants in the traditional market run individual businesses, therefore nobody can force them to put their product on sale.”

“As the opening is on the 19th, we still have time for preparation,” said an SMBA spokesman. “Namdaemun Market has over 6,000 registered stores. We plan to expand the number of participating merchants in the remaining week.”


BY JANG JOO-YOUNG [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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