Retail in Asia


What is the Winter’s ‘it’ item in Korea?

From Moncler to PyeongChang coat, padded jackets rule South Korea's fashion scene

Choosing the right padded jacket — this winter’s ‘it’ item — is a much more complicated task than one may think. It is not just design and color, but the type of insulation also has to be decided — goose, duck or synthetic materials, as well as their composition ratios, waterproof or not and even the overall weight.

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For many South Koreans, however, it all seems to come down to a choice between luxury and cost-effective alternatives.

On the high-end side, with brands like Canada Goose, Nobis, Herno and Moncler, the jackets are priced at well over 1 million won (US$920).

As for Moncler, the retail prices of long padded jackets for women hover around 2-3 million won. But some of the popular models have been sold out since summer and there’s a long waiting list still, an employee at a Moncler shop in Seoul said.

The passion for the French fashion brand is high, as a growing number of people are purchasing online instead and have them delivered directly from Europe.

“The price is 20-30 percent cheaper,” said Oh Su-hyun, who bought a Moncler coat this year via a Paris-based online shopping mall.

“It cost me around $1,800, including tax. But I think it as an investment. Winter is long and you can wear it for many years because it’s Moncler.”

More cost-conscious consumers have turned to more affordable options, chief among which is the PyeongChang Winter Olympic official down jacket, which was offered only in limited numbers.

High-performance yet stylish and affordable, the PyeongChang coat has become an instant top seller.

Since its launch on Oct. 26, people have been lining up for the coat which costs 149,000 won. But no more jackets are available now as the 300,000 pre-ordered items are completely sold out. The coats were manufactured by a local company in request by the nation’s retail giant Lotte, a licensed partner to the PyeongChang Olympics, to commemorate the global sports event.

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Some of the coats are being traded online, with a mark-up of 2-3 times the original price.

The long padded coat craze seems to have led to an overall increase in winter coat purchases.

According to Lotte Department Store, the sale of winter clothes surged 70 percent this month, while other retailers Hyundai and Shinsegae saw sales growing 12.7 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively.

(Source: Korean Herald )