Korea Grand Sale plan to restore retail growth

South Korea will start another round of nationwide discount events later this month in a bid to boost domestic consumption around the Lunar New Year’s holiday, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

The so-called Korea Grand Sale will begin on January 25 and run through February 7 across the nation before the holiday, with the participation of 300 local traditional markets, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

For foreign tourists, the event will take place from February 1 in duty-free shops and other retail stores to celebrate the start of the Visit Korea Year 2016-2018.

The Lunar New Year, which shifts year to year, falls on February 8 this year, with a five-day break.

The ministry said the sales event is aimed at maintaining an uptrend in consumption that was seen in the third quarter of last year.

Last year, the country hosted such events three times, including the K-Sale Day and Korea Black Friday, and saw local retailers post sharp sales increases, along with the government’s excise tax cut programs.

The rise in sales helped push up the country growth to a five-year high of 1.2 per cent in the third quarter, successfully escaping the sluggish mode stemming from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak.

“We’ve come up with plans to keep the pace of private consumption alive and revitalise domestic demand as a whole,” the finance ministry said in a release.

* Original reporting by Yonhap.

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