Online sales of traditional Korean alcoholic beverages surged ahead of this year's very long Chuseok holiday, local shopping sites said Saturday.
According to Auction, a leading online retailer, demand for beverages containing alcohol shot up 276 percent in the period Aug.
28 to Wednesday of this week, compared to a month earlier. The company said it started selling traditional beverages July 18.
It said sales of distilled products soared 544 percent, followed by yakju and soju, which rose 481 percent and 298 percent, respectively. Demand for liquor products, fruit-based wine and makgeolli also increased in the same period.
The retailer said people in their 40s placed the most orders for traditional drinks, with 43 percent of purchases being made by this group.
This was followed by people in their 30s and 50s.
Gmarket, another major online shopping mall, said that from Aug. 27 to last Tuesday, sales of traditional alcoholic beverages rose 57 percent compared to a month previously.
Both Auction and Gmarket attributed the gains in sales to many people buying the products to give as gifts.
"In most cases it is not easy to drink such products, so many seem to think they make good gifts," said a industry source.
Chuseok, or the Korean autumn harvest celebration, falls on Wednesday this year and is one of the most important holidays in the country, along with Seollal, also known as Lunar New Year.
During Chuseok people visit their hometown to pay respects to their ancestors and meet family and friends. At such gatherings there is usually an exchange of gifts. (Yonhap)