Supermarkets roll out mask discounts as Covid cases climb
Discount marts are expanding sales of face masks following the recent spike in Covid-19 infections.
Lotte Mart on Wednesday announced it has partnered with domestic mask manufacturers to secure an additional 1.5 million masks.
The discount mart chain plans to distribute the masks across its stores for a week from Aug. 20 through Aug. 26.
Of those masks, 1.2 million are Korea Filter Anti-Droplet masks, the government-approved masks designed specifically to provide higher levels of resistance to airborne liquids, while the remaining will be Korea Filter (KF) masks.
Lotte Mart is offering a discount to members who purchase masks with a credit card from certain card companies, including Lotte and KB Kookmin. The promotion enables consumers to purchase masks at a discounted price of 358 won (30 cents), rather than 390 won.
Lotte Mart also plans to offer masks in gift sets for the Chuseok harvest festival that starts on Sept. 30.
Homeplus also announced Wednesday that it would increase its supply of masks in response to the recent spike of the Covid-19 cases. The discount mart chain plans to start promotions on masks at its offline and online stores starting Aug. 20.
Homeplus secured 350,000 extra KF-94 masks, selling them at 990 won per unit, down 23.2 percent from the usual 1,290 won.
The retailer also has 520,000 KF-AD masks selling for 500 won per unit online. At offline stores, a KF-AD mask is sold for 600 won per unit.
One person can buy up to 20 masks per purchase.
Homeplus said sales of masks on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18 surged 42 percent compared to the same period in the previous month. Sales of hand sanitizer jumped up 152 percent during the same period.
Responding to the demand, the retailer is offering promotions on other hygiene products, including hand sanitizers and disinfectant spray.
Emart hasn’t yet announced its plans to expand its mask supply, but announced plans to distribute 500,000 disposable masks to vulnerable children by Aug. 28.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]