April 19, 2022 08:43
Koreans are spending money again on fancy clothes and makeup as the country returns to normal after the drab home-bound existence of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to S.I. Village, retail giant Shinsegae's online mall, 18 out of the top 20 best-selling products of the cheap-and-cheerful Sam Edelman brand were shoes and sandals in the first four months of this year, up from only 11 at the same period last year, when sneakers were in greater demand.
Fancy clothes are also selling well. At Shinsegae Department Store, sales of men's classic products like suits surged 21 percent from March until the first 10 days of this month. A staffer said, "Demand for formal apparel increased as a lot of people are holding weddings this spring that had been delayed by the pandemic and more people are stepping out again."
At online mall Zigzag, which is popular with women in their 20s, formal dress sales surged 29 times during the same period. "There's still demand for loose and comfortable clothes, but a resumption in offline classes at universities and the end of telecommuting have increased demand for formal wear," a staffer said.
Salaried workers are returning to the office. Samsung has resumed some face-to-face meetings and overseas business trips since early this month, while POSCO no longer allows staff to work from home. Hyundai and affiliate Kia also resumed some overseas business trips and face-to-face meetings.
The increase in weddings has led to a 20 to 30-percent increase in bookings at hotel ballrooms.
Cosmetics companies expect sales of lipstick and other color makeup to increase as more and more people head outdoors without their masks.
Children's products are also booming. According to Lotte Department Store, sales of children's products increased during the first two weeks of this month. A staffer said, "As the pandemic dragged on for more than two years, many parents found that their baby clothes and strollers had grown too small."
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