SEJONG, Sept. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea will host its own Black Friday super sales festival in early October to stimulate domestic spending critical for generating economic growth, the government said Tuesday.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy has been hit hard by sagging exports and still weak consumer spending. Outbound shipments fell 14.9 percent on-year in August and 6.3 percent for the first eight months of this year. By promoting spending, the country can make up for falling exports and generate much-needed growth.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that the Korea Black Friday sales event will run for two weeks from Oct. 1 through Oct. 14 and will involve some 27,000 stores and markets across the country, making it the very first and largest nationwide sales event.
“Following minus or very weak growth in the second quarter, there has been a rebound in retail sales and improvements in the service sector starting in July,” the ministry said. “People have also started using their credit cards more, with the latest Black Friday sales aimed at further galvanizing spending.”
Luxury department stores, large discount chains, convenience stores, traditional markets and even online shopping malls are to take part in the event, with upwards of 50-70 percent price cuts to be offered to consumers.
The ministry said 75 percent of all department stores, 90 percent of large discount chains and 95 percent of convenience stores will slash prices during the sales period. It added a further 56 percent of online shopping malls and some large restaurant chains will offer discounts.
The ministry said to facilitate purchases, local credit card companies plan to offer no-interest rate installment payment benefits to consumers.
For traditional markets, the government will provide funds to carry out promotional marketing that can attract customers.
The government said it will gauge the effect of the nationwide sales program and move to make it an annual event, which can spur not only domestic spending, but help attract foreign tourists, similar to the Dubai Shopping Festival.
In regards to foreign tourists, the ministry said after negative growth from June through August, the number of inbound visitors rose 1.4 percent in the first 13 days of September.