Department Stores Hold Big Sales to Fight MERS Slump

      July 23, 2015 12:44

      Department stores will hold massive clearance events to recoup their sales from the slump due to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak.

      Domestic consumption seemed to be on an upward trend until May but was badly hit by the outbreak of MERS.

      Lotte Department Store will hold a huge promotion this week, just three months after their last big sales. Hyundai and Shinsegae will have big sales of luxury brands two weeks earlier than previous years.

      Prices will come down up to 90 percent, and stocks will be more than double last year's to clear summer inventory. They include luxury products, which are not usually part of sale events in department stores.

      Premium outlets and large supermarket chains are also holding clearance sales.

      Lotte said Wednesday it will hold the clearance sale from Thursday until Sunday at KINTEX in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. Lotte had a great success three months ago with the first promotion outside its stores at SETEC, in Seoul's Daechi-dong.

      They hope to replicate the success, and goods worth W20 billion (US$1=W1,153) from over 320 brands will go on sale.

      Shortly after, Lotte will launch separate sales of products from 250 imported luxury brands from next Wednesday. 

      From Thursday next week until Aug. 16, Hyundai Department Store will host a big sale featuring imported fashion brands.

      Shinsegae plans to sell luxury brands items at highly discounts of up to 80 percent from Thursday to Aug. 16.

      Yoo Joo-yeon, an analyst at Meritz Securities, said, "The situation is much worse for suppliers as many have piles of stock they failed to clear for two years in a row because of the ferry disaster last year and the MERS outbreak this year. Many of them are on the verge of bankruptcy and decided to cut their losses."

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