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Retailers get ready for Lunar New Year

Tmon, Olive Young and Shinsegae ramp up online efforts before gift-giving season

Shoppers look at Lunar New Year gift sets at a supermarket in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Shoppers look at Lunar New Year gift sets at a supermarket in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Retailers are anticipating a surge in online shopping in the coming weeks ahead of this year’s Lunar New Year holiday, widely known as Seollal in South Korea.

Leading Korean e-commerce business Tmon said Monday that the volume of orders generated from its “contactless gift-giving” service saw a 452 percent increase during the past two weeks.

Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers purchased items priced below 30,000 won ($27.20), the data also showed, up 7 percent from last year’s figure of 65 percent.

The uptick in demand for more affordable items reflects the impact of the “prolonging coronavirus crisis,” the company said. Popular items include cosmetics gift sets and health supplements.

“We are showing special deals each hour on our “time-commerce” to help customers have a healthy and bountiful family holiday,” said CEO Lee Jin-won.

Drugstore franchise Olive Young launched a sales event on Monday that will continue until the end of this month.

From health supplements such as vitamins and red ginseng products to electric massage devices and cosmetics items, popular gift items are offered at discounts of up to 50 percent on the company’s website and mobile app.

It is also offering same-day delivery services until Feb. 10, a day before the holiday begins, for last-minute shoppers and those who want to avoid visiting physical stores.

With plans to launch a sales event at its in-person stores next month, one official explained, the company is using its omnichannel strategy to respond to the growing non-face-to-face trend in the retail industry.

In an industry first, Shinsegae Duty Free announced on the same day that it will start offering fashion items from luxury brands on KakaoTalk’s shopping service.

Last year, the Korea Customs Service began permitting the domestic sale of duty-free items that have been on sale for over six months.

Online shopping has enjoyed unprecedented popularity since the beginning of last year amid the pandemic.

In November, online shopping transactions soared to 15.63 trillion won, up by 17.2 percent from the same time a year ago, data from Statistics Korea showed.

Online shopping rose 5.8 percent compared to the previous month while mobile shopping saw a 7.5 percent increase.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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