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‘Sales War’ looms as South Korean Shopping Festival begins

A South Korean Shopping Festival is about to begin, modelled on the likes of Black Friday in the US and Singles’ Day in China.

Fierce competition is expected among e-commerce companies this year as well as they take on brick-and-mortar retailers.

As recently as a couple years ago, November was an off-season for shopping in South Korea with only a few vendors holding promotional events. Now, more companies are participating in November promotions.

Wemakeprice Inc, a local open market operator, announced that it will give out 20 billion won (US$17.1 million) as ‘subsidies’ for 150,000 customers to go shopping this year. It is the largest amount a single company has vowed to spend in the country.

Online shopping mall Tmon plans to give out a 100,000 won discount coupon to all its members.

And 11st, a major online shopping mall run by SK Planet that has been holding online shopping festivals every November 11, is aiming for 150 billion won in daily transactions this year.

With 11 years of experience in holding festivals every November, 11st believes it has the higher ground when it comes to merchandising.

This year, offline distributors have also jumped into the competition over November promotions, joining the South Korean Shopping Festival.

Shinsegae Group declared November 2 as SSG Day, a special day of sales promotion on which all 18 affiliate companies including Emart will participate., a Shinsegae affiliate, previously gave out 10,000 won to each of its 1 million members as shopping money.

“We used to understand that the end of the year was the time to go shopping. Now, it has been moved forward to November,” said a source familiar with the retail industry.

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