Chuseok 2020: Bigger discounts, more distancing
More than a month ahead of the Chuseok harvest holidays, major retailers have already developed their marketing strategies for Chuseok gift sets.
Due to weak consumer sentiment and the contactless culture following the Covid-19 outbreak, the focus this year is on offering large discounts and a shopping experience that requires minimal contact.
Shinsegae Department Store is offering up to 70 percent off on some wines, while Emart is providing a consulting service at the homes or offices of customers considering the purchase of a gift set.
The Chuseok holidays this year start on Sept. 30 and continue through Oct. 4.
Shinsegae Department Store announced on Friday it will start taking reservations for Chuseok gift sets from Aug. 24 and will continue taking them through Sept. 13.
Shinsegae plans to offer specials on 282 types of products, up 20 percent on year, including Korean beef, fruits, health supplements and wines. The retailer is offering up to 70 percent off on wines due to the recent rise in the trend of drinking alcoholic beverages at home, according to Shinsegae.
Boxes of apples and pears — popular Chuseok fruits — will be discounted by 15 percent to 98,000 won ($83), while a two-bottle wine set from Bordeaux, France, will be priced at 40,000 won, down 60 percent from the original price.
Shinsegae this year “expanded products sold online by 70 percent and is also enabling consumers to place an order online and pick it up at an offline shop to follow the 'untact' trend,” said Choi Won-jun, a spokesperson for Shinsegae Department Store.
Untact is a portmanteau of “un” and "contact," meaning contactless.
Emart is accepting reservations for gifts from Aug. 13 through Sept. 18.
It hasn't yet disclosed its lineup and the discount ratio, but it said it will expand offerings on diet supplements as younger people are more concerned about health since the outbreak.
Untact is also a theme for Emart.
Emart will have its workers visit some consumers and offer consultations on Chuseok gift sets, so they don’t have to face crowds at the discount mart. Emart offered the service for New Year’s Day this year and decided to offer it for Chuseok due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Hyundai Department Store said it started accepting reservations for Chuseok gift sets more than a week earlier to make sure crowds don't form at its stores.
Hyundai Department Store already started accepting reservations on Aug. 14 at its branch in Gangnam District, southern Seoul. All its branches will start accepting the reservations starting on Aug. 21.
It is offering up to 30 percent off on 200 types of products, including meat, seafood and fruits.
To help consumers avoid crowds, they will be able to receive a KakaoTalk message from some branches when registering to purchase a gift set so they don’t have to stand in line.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]