SEOUL, Korea, Mar 13 (Korea Bizwire) – As consumers tighten their purse string due to the slow economy in Korea, department stores are also experiencing reduced revenues. However, it’s a different world in the basement floors of the mega stores.
There is “refreshment fever” in the grocery sections of the department stores as several famous snack vendors set up shop in them. Usually, in the first basement floors of department stores are prepared food sections.
Now, people pack the B1 floors of the stores to buy some famous snacks or refreshment items waiting in long lines taking at least half an hour. The long lines stir up curiosity of passers-by and they add even longer lines.
In case of Hyundai Department Store’s Apgujeong store, Mon Chouchou which sells “milk cream bread” made of fresh milk produced in Hokkaido, Japan, records on average 400 million won sales a month. The bread is usually sold out before 2 pm, which makes shoppers’ step hurried.
To buy its most popular item, Dojima roll cake, shoppers should wait at least for 30 minutes weekdays and more than a hour during weekends. To accommodate the super-high demand, Mon Chouchou changed its policy and increased its daily supply starting this week.
Croquette is another item attracting shoppers’ attention at B1 level. Kyeongseong Croquette, which opened four locations in Hyundai Department Stores, sells on average 50 million won worth of the small bread-crumbed fried food rolls a month. Its rival “Ikebukuro,” Japanese style croquette maker, attracts more than 400 customers a day in Shinsegae’s Gangnam location.
Wangmandu, king-sized Chinese dumpling, also is booming in department stores. A dumpling brand which originally gained popularity with thin skin and solid inside in Seoul’s Namdaemun Market attracts shoppers who wait tens of minutes willingly.
An official at a department store said, “Due to the economic slump, people are refraining from eating out. Instead, it seems that they enjoy those simple but famous snacks and refreshments with their family or colleagues at work.”