Retail in Asia

In Markets

Korean retailers ride on ‘Pokemon Go’ craze

Pokemon Go Korea

South Korean retailers are capitalizing on the explosive popularity of Nintendo’s augmented-reality mobile game “Pokémon Go” with new products and services targeting local Pokémon game enthusiasts and fans.

From a sudden rise in consumer spending at select Pokémon-appearing cities in Korea to the launch of Pokémon-inspired hotels, tour packages and goods, the smash-hit game appears to be leaving a notable imprint on the local retail sector.

Pokémon Go,” produced jointly by Nintendo and U.S.-based Google spinoff Niantic, Inc., is a GPS-based mobile game that has users running through real-life locations to discover and collect virtual monsters, such as the all-famous Pikachu, via their smartphones.

Though the game has yet to officially launch in Korea, it has been operational in parts of the country, including Sokcho of Gangwon Province since mid-July and most recently parts of Ulsan and Busan, where the game’s GPS signal is active due to technical glitches.

Eager to play, hundreds of avid Pokémon fans here have been flocking to such locations in the past few weeks, boosting business at local retailers in the region and prompting online retailers to introduce an array of Pokémon-inspired products.

Among the biggest beneficiaries are convenience stores in Sokcho which have been enjoying a sudden sales boom thanks to peaking demand for cell phone battery charging services as well as portable battery chargers.

(Source: Korea Herald)