Retail marketing machines in overdrive for Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year is usually one of the busiest shopping periods of the year as Koreans plan for family gatherings and ancestral rites. Things are little different this year, and more Koreans will likely spend more money buying gifts to send their families instead of visiting them amid the pandemic.
Korea’s department stores are trying to make the best out of the Lunar New Year season — which runs from Feb. 11 to Feb. 13 this year — by strengthening their gift package offerings and honing their marketing strategies to lure online shoppers.
Lotte Department Store said Wednesday it started taking preorders for its Lunar New Year gift packages. Customers are offered up to 70-percent discounts on various health functional food products, such as vitamins. The two most popular gift items for Lunar New Year — Korean beef and dried corvina — will be discounted 10 percent and 20 percent.
To target consumers who now enjoy drinking at home, wines will be offered at up to 70 percent off. Customers can make the orders in advance through Jan. 7.
Shinsegae Department Store said the same day that it added 21 more products to its lineup compared to the previous year. It will sell a total of 271 products for this year’s Lunar New Year gift season. This includes 40 agricultural products, such as pears and apples, 34 livestock products, including Korean beef, 30 marine products, such as dried corvina and hairtail, and 45 health functional products. Those products are available at heavily discounted prices. Health functional food products will be sold at up to 70 percent off, wine up to 50 percent and fruit up to 20 percent.
Shinsegae Department Store will start taking orders Jan. 4 to Jan. 24. Customers will be able to make orders through SSG.com, the online shopping platform of Shinsegae Group, starting Jan. 11.
For people who wish to shop online amid the pandemic, the department store said it prepared twice as many online-only gift packages than usual.
“We strengthened the lineups for online-only gift packages this year,” said Choi Won-joon, who is in charge of the food sector at Shinsegae Department Store.
Hyundai Department Store will also offer its best-selling premium gift packages, such as Korean beef sets, fruit and vegetable packages, at highly discounted prices. It also extended the days of receiving preorders for longer than usual — customers can make preorders starting from Jan. 4 to Jan. 24.
As a part of efforts to attract more customers, the department store will also run an event that offers various coupons to customers who purchase gift packages through its online mall between Jan. 4 to Jan. 17. People can send the gifts through the KakaoTalk messaging app, according to the department store.
The store will be taking orders earlier than usual, and the inventory being made available for the orders has increased by 50 percent compared to previous years.
BY CHEA SARAH, CHU IN-YOUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]