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Retailers hail Year of the Black DragonBy Korea Herald
Published : Jan. 2, 2012 - 18:57
The Chinese zodiac is always the favorite sales promotion theme for local retailers and hotels at the beginning of each year.
2012 is the Year of the Black Dragon, which makes the most auspicious animal of the zodiac and symbol of the emperor sound even more powerful and mystifying.
In the Chinese zodiac, combinations of 10 heavenly stems and 12 earthly branches, or animal signs, create a sexagenary cycle which makes the Year of the Black Dragon fall once every 60 years. The ninth heavenly stem, pronounced “im” in Korean and “ren” in Chinese, symbolizes water and the color black.
Last year was the year of the White Tiger and 2007 the year of the Golden Pig. Both were played up as the lucky years for childbirth, recording peaks in weddings and baby booms. Baby clothing and appliance makers saw their sales rise by about 20 percent in those two years.
The Year of the Black Dragon is another major marketing opportunity.
Baby corners in department stores are selling innerwear and blankets with black dragon prints.
Lotte Department Store is displaying a large dragon with 2012 traditional lucky bags hanging on it and plans to give a famous artist’s painting of a dragon worth 10 million won to one of its customers that leave their new year’s wishes on its website.
I’ Park Department Store offers additional discounts for customers born in the Year of the Dragon, while Galleria Department Store displays dragon-shaped crystal ornaments.
Discount stores are selling makgeolli. LG International Corp. unveiled in early December a “Dragon Wine” made in collaboration with an artist, and the nearly 10,000 bottles have been sold already.
Kooksoondang Brewery Co. began selling a sparkling makgeolli, or Korean rice wine, with a black dragon drawn on its label. Coach, a leather goods brand imported by Shinsegae International, and MCM are selling limited edition tote bags with dragons on them.
Baskin Robbins is selling “Flying Dragon” ice cream cakes, and Lotte Mart underwear with dragon prints.
SK Planet’s online shopping mall 11st began selling 1 kilogram silver bars engraved with dragons.
Red Cap Tour offers up to 12 percent discounts for people born in the years of dragon purchasing its travel packages to Europe. Novotel Ambassador Gangnam’s buffet restaurant the Square provides 50 percent discounts for customers born in the Year of the Dragon, and free meals for customers born in 1952.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Articles by Korea Herald
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