SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The convenience store industry will exclude Japanese beers from promotional events next month in consideration of worsening public sentiment toward Japan.
According to retail industry sources on Tuesday, major convenience store chains such as CU, GS25 and 7-Eleven excluded Japanese beers such as Asahi, Sapporo and Kirin Ichiban from the list of beers qualifying for the “10,000 won (US$8.24) for 4 cans” promotion next month.
Accordingly, cans of Japanese beer will be at least 500 won more expensive next month than the discounted beers.
In addition, GS25 will maintain its plan to exclude beer distributed by Japan’s largest brewer Asahi Group, including Kozel and Pilsner Urquell, from the event.
Earlier, major convenience stores excluded Japanese beer from promotions starting on July 1. The move was triggered by Japanese export restrictions, which prompted a boycott of Japanese products in Korea.
As a result of the boycott, sales of Japanese beer plunged immediately.
At CU, sales of Japanese beer fell 84.3 percent on-year from July 1 to 25. Compared with the 20 percent to 30 percent drop in sales of Japanese beer just before it was excluded from the discount event, the decrease is significant.
During the same period, sales of Japanese beer also dropped by 74.8 percent at Emart 24.
As the sales volume of Japanese beer decreased, the country’s ranking among beer imports also changed. At GS25, sales of Japanese beer fell 89.1 percent year-on-year from July 1 to 25.
Amid the sales decrease, Japanese beer now accounts for 1 to 2 percent of all imported beer, down from 20 percent.
Before the boycott, Japan ranked first to fifth in sales of beer at convenience stores, but it has now ceded the top spots to China and Belgium.
With consumption falling, overall Japanese beer imports also plunged.
According to the Korea Customs Service, imports of Japanese beer amounted to US$43.3 million last month, down 45 percent from US$79.4 million the previous month.
On the other hand, imports of Belgian beer rose 49.5 percent during the same period.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)