Retail in Asia

In Markets

Korea’s ‘Black Friday’ aims to get people shopping


For the second year running, the South Korean government has launched an autumn retail discount campaign to boost the country’s sagging personal consumption.

The South Korean version of Black Friday involves some 170 companies including major operators of department stores and supermarkets across the country, as well as key manufacturers of consumer electronics, cars, cosmetics and other products.

Retail prices will be sharply discounted during the campaign which runs through Oct. 9.

SEE ALSO: 5 Korean beauty trends to know about now

Although the government believes the fall sales push will stimulate consumer spending, some analysts warn demand will fizzle out after Black Friday.

The sale will “build momentum to activate consumer sentiment at a time when the private sector is low on energy,” said Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyung-hwan.

In addition to the discounts available to shoppers from Sept. 29 through Oct. 9, the “Korea Sale Festa” will offer discounts and gifts to overseas visitors through October. The program will also put on 55 events across the country featuring South Korean TV and movie content.

Participants in the campaign include supermarket operator E-mart, Lotte Department Store, Hyundai Department Store and other big retailers. Participants also include the Coupang e-commerce website and restaurant chain CJ group.

But some analysts warn consumption will shrink once the campaign ends.

Indeed, South Korea’s gross domestic product grew faster in the October-December period last year, due in part to the sales campaign and cuts in consumption taxes on cars.