SEOUL, Feb.17 (Korea Bizwire) – Even as the economy is suffering, Koreans seem to be ready to open their wallets for their children. Due to the ‘eight-pocket’ phenomenon, which refers to eight people – parents (2), grandparents (4), uncle and aunt – spending money on one child, products and services related to children are showing impressive sales.
According to the online shopping site GMarket (www.gmarket.co.kr), the number of customer transactions for products such as children’s backpacks, shoes, clothing, stationary and furniture showed a 21 percent increase this month compared to 2013, and a six percent jump compared to 2015.
Analyzing the sales by age group, children’s clothing was mostly purchased by individuals in their 20s, and backpacks and furniture were most often purchased by those in their 50s. In other words, aunts and uncles bought clothes for their nephews and nieces, and grandparents bought bags and furniture for their grandchildren.
Officials from GMarket explain that the eight-pocket phenomenon has resulted in improvements in the quality of child products, leading to higher sales.
Home electronics companies are focusing on ‘child marketing’. Industry watchers explain that the prolonged economic downturn is shifting household spending to ‘products that can be used together with the child’, and pushing the industry to focus on the ‘child market’.
Hotels are also seeking to boost their sales by providing more services for children. Although the connection between hotels and children might be seen as dubious, many foreign businesspeople visit with their families, and the number of families choosing to spend the weekend at a hotel is increasing, and as such services for children have been developed at major hotels.
JW Marriott and JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square launched a kids program called ‘Max’. Various activities for children between the ages of 5 to 12 are being offered, such as making kimchi, or renting game devices like the Nintendo Wii.
At Hilton Namhae, products from the Dutch brand NUNA are on offer, meaning that customers can make use of facilities for children such as cribs and strollers instead of bringing them from home.
The buffet at the Grand Hyatt Seoul launched a children’s menu that is low in salt but abundant in nutrients. Simple games have also been prepared on the back of the menu so that children won’t be bored while waiting for their meal.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)