SEOUL, Korea, April 2 (Korea Bizwire) – A department store in Seoul’s Gangnam famous for carrying luxury import items has offered since early this year its exclusive platinum members a sneak preview of newly arrived goods.
For example, it invites 10 VIP members every month and gives an individual viewing of imported wristwatches not yet available to ordinary consumers in Korea.
An official of the department store said, “Because of its exclusive and secretive nature, this service has become highly popular among high-income clients who learned of the program from word of mouth.”
In a recent Jaeger-LeCoultre event, he relayed, as much as 120 million won worth of wristwatches were sold in one day.
The VIP marketing skills of department stores have been evolving by leaps and bounds. Even though the economy is in recession for years on end and people have stopped opening up their wallets readily, the department store marketers figure, there are still some people out there who can splurge on big-ticket items.
To do that, the marketers are turning to organizing small private parties and holding exclusive cultural events instead of throwing big parties for moderately rich customers.
According to industry sources, Galleria Department Store in Gangnam’s Apgujung-dong is conducting a highly selective club reminiscent of the salon during the pre-revolution era in France. A small group of the super-rich is getting together to sit in for lectures on the art, classical music, and jazz. Some of the clients living outside Seoul are shipped to Gangnam by dispatching limousines.
According to the department store, the latest salon party featured the Van Cleef & Arpels’ new jewelry launching show and Dom Perignon vintage champagne as yet available in Korea.
The main reason department stores take so much care to attract high-income customers is there is no other cash cow to get over the recession.
According to Hyundai Department Store, the share of sales revenue originating from the VIP customers was 31.2 percent during the three-month period this year, up 1.8 percentage points from the same period last year.
Written by Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)