Retail in Asia


Golf-wear is the new luxury in South Korea

The golf apparel market is trending towards a higher price point with more luxurious offerings. Golf T-shirts can cost between 200,000 and 900,000 KRW. Moreover, with a growing number of fashion companies as well as non-apparel businesses launching luxury golf-wear products, the market value is continuing to rise.

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The Korean Leisure Industry Institute estimated the value of the local golf-wear industry at 4.5 trillion KRW (3.5 billion USD) in 2019, despite COVID-19 restrictions. As of 2021, the Korean market was valued at 5.6 trillion KRW, more than the United States and Japan combined.

With more and more companies entering the market, there were more than 160 local golf apparel brands at the end of 2021. A popular activewear brand, Xexymix, launched its golf product line in May, and South Korean platform giant Kakao Corp., also entered the market with golf wear brand Kakao Friends Golf in June. Earlier this year, non-fashion brands including CJ, Samsung Construction and Trading, and Shinsegae all launched their own golf-wear collections.

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According to local marketing research firm DMC Report, over half of all golf apparel customers in 2021 were women, while 33.1 percent were in their 20s and 30s. When shopping for golfwear, customers of all genders and ages put design ahead of functionality and price. A study by the Korea Leisure Industry Research Institute found that over 5.5 million Koreans regularly played golf in 2021. By the end of this year, the golfwear industry is projected to be worth 6.3 trillion KRW.