SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean companies enjoyed increased sales during Chinese Singles’ Day over the weekend, signaling the end of China’s year-long THAAD retaliation.
Sales at major duty-free stores including Lotte and Shilla increased by up to 30 percent among Chinese customers, while sales at online shopping giants Gmarket and Global Hmall nearly doubled compared to last year.
With the overall sales performance among South Korean shopping sites recovering, and the Chinese TV network CCTV covering the shopping frenzy at the duty-free stores, the South Korean retail industry is hopeful that China’s sudden thaw with South Korea will soon normalize the relations between the two economies.
The sales growth at some of the major South Korean duty-free stores comes following a breakthrough last month, when foreign ministers from both countries officially agreed to work on bettering South Korea-China relations after months of economic retaliation over THAAD anti-missile systems.
Lotte Duty Free experienced a 15 percent sales increase online, and 10 percent at its physical stores during the Chinese Singles’ Day season between November 5 and 11.
In the meantime, Shilla Duty Free posted 30 percent on-year sales growth during the first eleven days of November.
It’s worth nothing that compared to last year when all of the top 10 items were cosmetics, this year saw jewelry and hair products on the top 10 list.
Another duty-free store, Galleria, also posted a 10 percent sales increase on its Chinese shopping mall during the Chinese Singles’ Day season.
On China’s Singles’ Day, CCTV reported live from the busy scenes of Galleria’s distribution center in Incheon as part of its coverage of one of the busiest days in the retail industry.
“It’s the first time CCTV has aired live coverage of a South Korean distribution center since the announcement of the THAAD deployment. It seems to be a signal of the thaw between the two countries,” a Galleria official said.
Global Hmall also benefited from China’s Singles’ Day, as sales went up nearly 96 percent during the first ten days of November compared to last year, with Chinese customers accounting for nearly 70 percent.
“As the sales increase in China during Singles’ Day signals the end of the THAAD retaliation, expectation for the return of Chinese tourists to South Korea is running high,” a retail industry official said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)