September 07, 2020 08:30
The coronavirus epidemic has changed the way people think about choosing gifts for Chuseok, the biggest holiday of the year.
Retailers have adjusted their product range to appeal to customers who spend more time at home. Shinsegae Department Store's on-line retail arm, SSG.com, bolstered its lineup of handy meal kits, while Lotte Mart increased the lineup of food products for health-conscious customers and introduced hampers of personal-hygiene products for the first time.
Shinsegae is also selling more wine, especially 200 ml mini bottles for singles who will celebrate a lonesome Chuseok in front of the TV.
Hampers are also getting cheaper because few people have much money to throw around. Some gifts like coffee or cosmetics cost W10,000 to W20,000 or fruit baskets W30,000-40,000 (US$1=W1,189).
Online purchases are naturally on the rise. Hyundai increased the range of hampers that can be ordered online by 30 percent and Shinsegae by 70 percent.
Superstores are also adjusting to the new normal. "The Chuseok holiday this year is a vital opportunity for retailers to make some money after poor sales due to the epidemic," one superstore staffer said. "Around 40 to 50 percent of Chuseok gifts are ordered online, so we have diversified products that are available online and are offering various discounts to boost sales."
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