Department Stores Boom Thanks to Pent-up Demand

  • By Lee Mi-ji

    April 20, 2021 11:21

    A mall in Seoul is bustling with shoppers on Sunday. /Newsis

    Department stores' revenues during a recent spring sale soared some 45 percent compared to the same seasonal event last year as lockdown-fatigued shoppers ventured back into stores.

    The burst of sales has been attributed to "revenge-spending," or shoppers unleashing pent-up demand from the drawn-out coronavirus epidemic.

    Sales at Lotte Department Store rose 40 percent on-year during the seasonal sale from April 2 to 18. Shinsegae Department Store saw its sales increase 51 percent, Hyundai Department Store 44 percent and Galleria Department Store 45 percent.

    Even compared to the spring sale of 2019 before the epidemic, sales were up by 19 to 64 percent.

    Luxury goods showed the biggest rebound, with their sales soaring 88 percent on-year at Galleria, 79.4 percent at Shinsegae, 77 percent at Hyundai and 65 percent at Lotte.

    Fashion brands also saw a significant recovery.

    "It seems people are more willing to buy luxury goods with money they ended up saving because they couldn't go to overseas for travel during the pandemic. Clothes sales are also increasing as people are returning to school or work with lockdown easing," a department store staffer said.

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