It's not too late for a bit of last-minute Chuseok shopping
The Chuseok harvest holiday may be only a week away, but tardy gift givers don't need to panic just yet as this year retailers are accepting orders right up until the very last minute.
Usually, stores stop accepting orders for Chuseok gifts three to six days before the actual holiday due to delivery issues. But because of the increased demand this year, they will be receiving online orders for gifts until Sept. 29, the day before the three-day holiday begins.
Lotte Department Store is offering rapid delivery services this year, delivering Chuseok gifts within three hours of orders being placed.
Customers need to spend at least 90,000 won ($78) to use the service, which is available from Lotte Department Store’s main branch in central Seoul, and gifts must be for delivery within Seoul. The three-hour delivery service will run from Sept. 25 through Sept. 29.
Hyundai Department Store is also accepting orders for Chuseok gifts until Sept. 30.
From its 10 branches, including its main branch in Apgujeong-dong in southern Seoul, Hyundai Department Store is providing next-day delivery services in some parts of the country, including Seoul and Gyeonggi.
Discount marts and e-commerce operators like SSG.com are extending orders to Sept. 30. The availability of the service from offline marts will depend on the distance between the store and the delivery destination.
Retailers this year are receiving Chuseok gift orders for longer than usual because of the increased demand due to Covid-19, which has interfered with many people’s plans to visit family.
According to Lotte Department Store, its sales of Chuseok gifts jumped 41 percent on year from Sept. 14 through Sept. 17. The amount spent on gifts has also increased by 46 percent during the same period.
SSG.com showed a similar trend. The average amount spent on Chuseok gift sets rose more than 15 percent on year from Aug. 13 through Sept. 19. The number of purchases of gifts that cost more than 200,000 won also jumped 194 percent.
People are spending more money on gifts to make up for not being able to visit their family due to the pandemic, according to Lotte Shopping, operator of the department store chain.
Costly and unique types of food, including truffles and muscat grapes, sold particularly well, according to Lotte.
“The last-minute delivery became possible on the improved delivery structure,” said a spokesperson for Lotte Shopping.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]