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South Korean retailers call off events following the Itaewon tragedy

(Source: Reuters/Kim Hong-ji)

Retailers in South Korea have cancelled Halloween-themed and large events after the tragedy during Halloween festivities in Seoul’s famous nightlife district Itaewon. 

The country’s largest annual shopping event, The Korea Sale Festa, which was previously scheduled to be held during the first half of November to boost spending, has cancelled its opening ceremony to pay tribute to the victims of the incident. 

Luxury fashion house Gucci called off its Cosmogonie show at the city’s Gyeongbokgung Palace tomorrow in light of the event. 

Starbucks Korea halted selling all Halloween drinks, food and merchandise starting Sunday morning. Halloween decorations have been removed from all of its branches across the country. Meanwhile, grocery retailers, including Emart, CU and Lotte Mart also stopped selling Halloween promotional products. 

Lotte Department Store said it has called off its plans to hold Halloween parades and run pop-up stores at its Jamsil branch. Posters and promotional images for those events have been removed. Other department stores, including Shinsegae Department Store and Hyundai Department Store, also joined the move, cancelling all Halloween programs and getting rid of decorations.

On Saturday night, more than 150 people were killed after being crushed by a large crowd during the Halloween celebration in the Itaewon district, most of them were in their 20s-30s. Local authorities declared a state of national mourning for a week.

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