Korea to kick off nationwide shopping festival this week

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 24, 2017 - 17:04
  • Updated : Sept 24, 2017 - 17:04
Two major department stores said Sunday they will offer up to 80 percent discounts on some items during the incoming nationwide shopping festival as South Korea is seeking to boost consumption.

Lotte Department Store, the country's leading retailer, said some 750 brands will participate in the special bargain sales event between Thursday and Oct. 15. During the period, Lotte will offer up to 80 percent discounts on some winter clothes as well as other products.

"We will do our best to help in recovering consumer sentiment," Kim Dae-soo, an official from Lotte Department Store.

Hyundai Department Store also offered up to 80 percent discounts on some items during the shopping festival to be participated by some 500 brands.

The clearance sales are part of the annual "Korea Sale Festa," South Korea's first global shopping and tourism festival featuring big discounts as well as Korean Wave cultural festivals and customized events for foreigners.

Last week, Paik Un-gyu, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, expressed hope that Korea Sale Festa will revitalize consumption and the local economy by drawing shoppers from home and abroad.

The Korea Sale Festa is set to run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 31. The upcoming festival -- the third of its kind initiated by the South Korean government -- comes as South Korea's retail industry is struggling from a sharp drop in the number of Chinese tourists.

The number of Chinese visitors plunged nearly 70 percent in July, marking the fifth straight month of decline blamed on a diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea.

Chinese nationals accounted for nearly half of some 17 million foreigners who visited the country last year.

Despite repeated assurances from Seoul and Washington that the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is designed only to defend against North Korea, China has long voiced opposition to the deployment, arguing that it poses a threat to its own security interests.

Last year, the Korea Sale Festa led to a 0.27 percentage-point growth in domestic consumption and a 0.13 percentage-point rise in the fourth-quarter gross domestic product, according to a government estimate. (Yonhap)