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Retailers launch mouse-inspired goods to celebrate ‘Year of White Mouse’

With 2020 marking the “Year of the White Mouse,” retailers rolled out mouse-inspired products, luring consumers with limited edition goods and special marketing in celebration of the new year.

Based on the Chinese zodiac, the white mouse is the first of the 12 animals and considered the leader of the mice, symbolizing wealth, fortune and prosperity. Due to ambiguity in the Chinese characters, 2020 may also be referred to as the Year of the Metal Rat.

According to Starbucks Korea, it rolled out three new drinks, six food items and 25 other items related to the white mouse on Wednesday. 

Shoppers look for white mouse-themed baby clothes at Lotte Department Store’s headquarters in Sogong-dong, central Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Shoppers look for white mouse-themed baby clothes at Lotte Department Store’s headquarters in Sogong-dong, central Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The coffee chain has also launched Happy Cheese White Mocha, a white chocolate drink with cheese whipped cream on top, using ingredients like cheese that mice reputedly like, along with new menu items such as cheesecake and sandwiches.

Emart24, a convenience store chain, said it will release Giant Mice Marshmallow from German brand Aseli, a marshmallow product in the shape of mice, on Saturday.

Shinsegae Food also newly introduced mouse-design cakes and macarons via its premium bakery brand, the Menagerie.

Other retailers kicked off special promotions and events in celebration of the Year of White Mouse.

Lotte Department Store is holding a special event to promote mouse-inspired baby goods, as January is often the peak season in sales for baby products.

It will also open classes for soon-to-be-parents at its stores, such as yoga courses for pregnant women.

Shinsegae Food's the Managerie introduces mouse-design cakes. (Shinsegae Food)
Shinsegae Food's the Managerie introduces mouse-design cakes. (Shinsegae Food)

E-commerce platform operator 11st will also hold a “Lucky Mouse” event to distribute 20 percent discount coupons to 2,020 customers born in former Years of the Mouse -- 1996, 1984, 1972 and so on -- every day at 11 a.m. throughout January. It said it will also give 3,000 won ($2.60) discount coupons to all customers.

Shinsegae DF, the duty-free arm of Shinsegae Group, will give out a gold ingot decorated with mice to winning customers in a promotion from Friday to Feb. 20. Chow Tai Fook, a Hong Kong-based jewelry company, specially designed the gold bar to mark the Year of the Mouse, according to Shinsegae DF.

Korean nationals can apply with a purchase of at least $1 at all offline stores, with results to be announced on March 20. Foreign customers purchasing more than $100 in goods will be given a scratch-off ticket to find out immediately whether they have won a prize or not.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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