Retailers going easy on test takers with just a few salesRetail companies in Korea are going minimalist when it comes to post-CSAT promotions this year, as strict social distancing measures are in place amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
CSAT, which stands for College Scholastic Ability Test, is an annual event that has traditionally provided companies with opportunities to promote their products and services to test takers and their families before and after the test. This year’s test took place on Dec. 3. This is the first year that CSAT took place in December, after a two-week delay because of the outbreak.
There is not much buzz this year in the retail world. With the recent increase in virus cases and strict social distancing guidelines in place, companies are avoiding promotions and events that may attract large crowds at their locations.
Shinsegae Department Store decided to skip this year’s post-CSAT event. A spokesperson for the department store said it took into consideration the government’s social distancing guidelines.
Hyundai Department Store is holding promotions at much fewer locations than in previous years. This year, Hyundai will have a discount coupon promotion at its Jungdong branch in Gyeonggi, offering those with a Hyundai membership a 20,000 won ($18) coupon for spending 200,000 won or more on outerwear until Dec. 13.
At the Cheonho branch in Gangdong District, eastern Seoul, test takers can receive 10,000 won discount coupons after spending 30,000 won or more in the food court until this Sunday. Students need to show their test admission tickets and identification cards.
Lotte Department Store is holding a Lotte gift card giveaway event for test takers from the day after the exam to Dec. 13. At its main branch in Sogong-dong, central Seoul, outdoor wear brands like Under Armour, Converse and Levi's are offering a maximum 70 percent discount from Dec. 4 to 8.
Other Lotte Department Store branches are holding various discount promotions for their casual wear and sportswear brands from Dec. 3 to the end of the year.
Large retailers are holding promotions for electronics and health-related products.
Emart is offering a 50,000 won discount to test takers for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini from Dec. 4 to 6. Homeplus is selling sirloin and tenderloin steak from NH Nonghyup at 40 percent off on the day of the exam, while offering Korean Ginseng Corporation’s Red Ginseng Extract Everytime Balance at 44,000 won, 15 percent off. Tablet PCs and notebooks are also on sale until the Dec. 16.
“Every year, when CSAT ended in November, the period leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Day was the high season for the retail industry, as people went shopping,” said an industry expert. “This year, sales recovery seems unlikely due to the government guidelines and low spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.”
BY LEE SO-A, LEE JEE-YOUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]