SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — Major department stores have put a large number of delivery workers on standby for the Lunar New Year holiday later this month, expecting better business after adjustments to an anti-corruption law, retail industry sources said Thursday.
The Lunar New Year falls on Feb. 16 this year, and department stores, retail outlets and supermarkets are all selling special gifts for the holiday, when millions of people travel to their hometowns.
They are expecting improved sales after the government raised the limit on the monetary value of gifts of agriculture, livestock and fisheries products to 100,000 won (US$93.63) from the previous 50,000 won. The limit is part of an anti-corruption law that aims to clamp down on bribery.
Lotte Department Store said it hired 5,500 delivery workers for the holiday, about 20 percent more than last year. Company officials said they are anticipating a 4 percent increase in the number of gift deliveries.
“We increased delivery personnel compared to last year on the expectation that the demand for holiday gifts will rise due to the law revision,” Ryu Min-yul of Lotte said. “This year, we are newly offering free delivery for gifts under 50,000 won.”
Shinsegae Department Store will begin its holiday delivery service from Saturday, with some 5,000 staff ready. The number of staff is 10 percent more than last year, with company management expecting more than a 10 percent increase in delivery requests.
Shinsegae said it will operate 400 special vehicles that are equipped with refrigerator and freezer sections. These vehicles will handle a maximum 40 deliveries each per day.
Hyundai Department Store said it has hired 4,800 workers for delivery, about 10 percent more than last year.