Gifts galore for Lunar New Year

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Gifts galore for Lunar New Year


Left: Lotte Department Store’s premium gift package with truffles and a truffle slicer. Right: Apples and pears from Hyundai Department Store that are wrapped in paper, instead of the usual plastic. [LOTTE SHOPPING, HYUNDAI DEPARTMENT STORE]

If your Lunar New Year shopping list includes a truffle slicer, marinated crabs and shine muscat grapes, you’re in luck. Korea’s retailers have you covered.

They have gifts that are expensive - at the department stores - and cheap - at the discount marts. Even the convenience stores are getting in on the act, with luxury gifts for single-person households.

Aiming for the high end of the market, Lotte Department Store is offering truffles. Its gift set, costing 580,000 won ($500), includes 120 grams (4.2 ounces) of truffles and a truffle slicer.

Truffles have become popular in Korea after a number of celebrities demonstrated cooking using truffles in various forms, including truffle oil.


Beringer Bros. wines sold at Emart. [EMART]

Lotte said that truffle oil, salt and sauce have become better known because of media exposure, and as a result the retailer has developed a gift for people looking for something unique to give over the holiday.

Shinsegae Department Store is teaming up with restaurants to create competitive offerings.

The department store is working with Woo Tender in southern Seoul to offer 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of high-quality Korean beef for 530,000 won. Shinsegae has teamed up with Gebangsikdang, which is listed in the 2020 Michelin guide and is also in southern Seoul, to market soy-sauce-marinated crabs. They cost 290,000 won for 2.8 kilograms.

According to Shinsegae, gifts offered in cooperation with a restaurant sell better than those without that sort of co-marketing.

Convenience stores are selling luxury items to ride the invest-in-oneself trend that is sweeping the country.

CU is pushing small-sized appliances, like air fryers, coffee makers and tea makers. While small, their prices are big. An IQAir personal air purifier, for instance, costs 579,000 won. CU also sells six types of ginseng, with prices topping out at 3.8 million won.

GS25 is offering luxury items too, like a Hermes bracelet with a 870,000-won price tag and Bottega Veneta Intrecciato key rings that cost 260,000 won each.

The convenience store chain said that it is targeting single-person households and people looking for premium products.

E-commerce operators and discount store chains are aiming somewhat more mainstream.

Shinsegae’s introduced Korean beef at 88,500 won for 1.5 kilograms and another option at 95,900 won for 1.5 kilograms. It is also releasing a fruit set priced under 20,000 won. With the popularity of shine muscat grapes and apple mangoes, combined these in a gift set.

Homeplus said 87 percent of 2,600 gifts prepared cost less than 30,000 won, while Emart rolled out affordable massagers. One is priced at 79,800 won. Emart is also pushing affordable wines like Beringer Bros. wines.

In line with the go green trend, Hyundai Department Store switched the packaging of fruits to paper from plastic. A paper box made of sugarcane fiber being used takes less than three months to degrade.

Lotte Department Store released environmentally-friendly vintage wines that have been fermented with natural yeast. M. Chapoutier Gigondas and Vacqueyras from France are among the wines on offer.

The Lunar New Year holiday this year runs from Jan. 24 through Jan. 27.

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