Korea luxury sales surge

Despite an economic slowdown, sales of luxury products in South Korea soared in the first quarter of 2015 partly due to recent price cuts by major luxury brands, data showed Wednesday.

Lotte Department Store saw sales of luxury products jump 15.7 per cent on-year in the January-March period, with sales of watches and jewelry soaring 27.2 per cent. Sales of luxury apparel also rose 20.3 per cent.

The on-year gain in Korea luxury sales marks a significant growth compared with the overall 8.3 per cent sales growth of the country’s biggest department store chain.

Hyundai Department Store‘s luxury product sales gained 8.7 per cent over the cited period, also posting a firm growth in contrast with its overall sales, which remained unchanged from a year earlier.

Sales growth of luxury products at Shinsegae Department Store came in at 1.9 per cent, relatively lower compared with its bigger rivals, but was still higher than overall sales, which slipped 0.3 per cent.

Market watchers attributed the rise in sales to increased promotion and marketing of high-end products, as well as recent price cuts by global luxury brands, including Chanel and Tag Heuer.

Last month, the French fashion powerhouse reduced department store prices of some of its bags by 15-20 per cent, citing currency fluctuations. The Swiss watch brand joined the move by slashing its product prices by up to 27 per cent.

Original reporting by Yonhap.

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