Don’t abuse “Korea Sales”The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the “Korea Grand Sale” for the month of February. It is a campaign to attract the Chinese tourists enjoying the Spring Festival holidays. At the Cabinet meeting on January 18, the Lunar New Year’s Korea Grand Sale plan was announced. This sale, from January 25 to February 7, is targeting domestic consumers.
The K Sale event took place only a month ago in December, and “Korea Grand Sale” and “Korea Black Friday” were in October. All of these sale events were initiated by the government. It is not necessarily bad for the consumers. But it is ambiguous what these events are about, who are the targets and why they are offered. The government praises that thousands of retailers participated in the sale event. But how about the quality?
Distributors have sale schedules for the year. Department stores have more than 100 days of events, including regular sales and major events. To participate in government-initiated events, the department stores are overloaded and the quality has to be compromised. A source from a department store said that the government asked for cooperation in the Black Friday event in October and had to offer televisions at cheaper prices, and the company had to prepare for the K Sale event again.
Department stores had signs for the Autumn Regular Sale, Korea Grand Sale and Korea Black Friday Sale at the same time.
Consumers are distrustful of the price as well. As sales become more frequent, department stores and shopping malls demand the suppliers to lower the price further. Small and medium-sized suppliers say they are asked to lower price on newest models as well, and deficits may grow as they sell more during the sale period. So consumers increasingly find sales events disappointing, with less discounts and brands participating.
Korea already has world’s best shopping infrastructure. There should be a unified name for various sale events and strategic planning for attractive contents to associate shopping in Korea with fun and satisfying experience. When the government and companies work together and prepare a sale season once a year, domestic and foreign customers would be eager to shop in Korea.
by Lee So-a, Business news reporter at the JoongAng Ilbo
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