Retailers Target Busy Office Workers

      April 29, 2016 12:19

      Sales are booming at lunchtime in department stores in office districts as more office workers nip out for a shop. The trend is so marked that retailers are racing to grab a bigger slice of the so-called lunchtime shopping market with special midday promotions and by opening more stores in office districts.

      The IFC Mall in the middle of Seoul's financial district of Yeouido at an event in February handed out finger foods and discount coupons during the lunch break. And last month it held fashion styling lectures during the lunch break and right after working hours to coincide with brand sales.

      Seo Hyun-min (35) works in Samseong-dong in southern Seoul, and often buys clothes and makeup during her lunch break at a mall near her office. She grabs a quick bite and heads to stores offering deals she found on the Internet. "I don't want to waste my valuable weekends shopping, so I buy things at lunch time," she said.

      Kim Young-kyun at COEX said, "We are conducting surveys on office workers to see what types of freebies they want so we can attract them in their lunch hour."

      The new Uniqlo store in Gwanghwamun, Seoul is packed with lunchtime shoppers on April 22.

      Uniqlo opened a major store in Gwanghwamun last week, the first fast-fashion outlet in an office district.

      Kim Ji-soo at Uniqlo said, "Fashion retailers used to shun the Gwanghwamun area because it's full of office workers during the week but dead at the weekend. But we felt it was worth betting on because office workers don't mind shopping near their offices."

      Joo Won at the Hyundai Research Institute said overall private consumption in the first quarter of this year fell 0.3 percent on-year, "but office workers still have purchasing power, so retailers are chasing them."

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