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Tightly Closed Customers` Wallets These Days

Posted January. 07, 2005 23:08,   


“If we could only open the wallets of consumers…”

As the economic recession continues, department stores are holding various unconventional discount events. However, possibly due to the deep recession, the reaction of the consumers has not been overly enthusiastic.

Shinsegae Department Stores are holding a “Nude Goods Event,” starting on January 7, the beginning date of their regular winter sale, for three days at all seven of their stores located nationwide. “Nude” goods are products sold at the “naked” price, without the profits of distribution and manufacturing companies. The prices are discounted by an average of 70 percent.

On the morning of January 7, the first day of the “Nude Goods Event,” at the household goods counter of the Gangnam Shinsegae Department Store, Banpo-dong Seocho-gu, Seoul, 40 Cuckoo pressure rice cookers for 10 servings (discounted from 259,000 won to 199,000 won) were sold out in an hour after the department store opened. However, other counters such as women’s clothing, were quiet.

Moon Gyoung-sook (44, Samsung-dong Gangnam-gu, Seoul), who bought a new Korean dining table that was placed as a “nude” good, said, “It was on sale just when I needed it, so I bought it,” and, “As the economy is in a recession, I only buy products that are absolutely necessary, however cheap they may be.” There are approximately 7,000 products included in the “nude” event, including clothing, shoes, food, handbags, children’s clothing, household appliances, and kitchen utensils. Women’s shoes regularly marked at 180,000 to 190,000 won are being sold at the price of 40,000 to 50,000 won, women’s coats of 300,000 to 400,000 won are being sold at 50,000 to 90,000 won, and shirts of 80,000 to 100,000 won are being sold at 20,000 to 30,000 won.

Lotte Department Stores are having a “Line-up Sales Event,” which is a “limited, first come, first served event,” discounting products up to 80 percent. Youngdeungpo, Cheongryangli, Nowon, Bundang, and other Lotte Department Stores are selling 165,000 won handbags at 50,000 won and 78,000 won Nike running shoes at 39,000 won.

Grand Department Store of Ilsan is holding a “1,000 won Auction Festival” every Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Over 100 kinds of products are auctioned, starting from 1,000 won, and the store is planning to limit the highest bid price to 40 percent of the regular price. The department store is planning to continue this event throughout the first half of this year.

Sales during January to November of last year decreased by three percent compared to the year before, and this is the second consecutive year with a decrease in sales. It is anticipated that this year, sales will also decrease by four to five percent.

Im-Sook Ha bonhong@donga.com artemes@donga.com