Department stores in Korea launch new marketing strategies

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By: Retail in Asia

Hemorrhaging customers as the coronavirus pandemic keeps shoppers at home, the department store industry in Korea has set social distancing guidelines aside as companies launch aggressive marketing strategies to attract consumers to enjoy hands-on activities at their brick-and-mortar stores.

Major department stores including Lotte, Shinsegae, and Hyundai department stores lost 10 to 20 percent of their sales in January and February compared to the same months last year, and their losses widened in March as they recorded 30 to 40 percent losses compared with March 2019.

Lotte Department Store is offering hands-on activities. Tamiya, a Japanese company that manufactures radio-controlled cars and plastic car models, debuted a new “Kidult Zone” at its store in the Nowon branch in northern Seoul last Friday.

The display encourages customers to assemble model cars and use them on a circuit track for games and includes science programs led by a professional who participated in the Tamiya Radio Control World Championships.

About 600 customers visited the Tamiya store last weekend, a more than 35 percent on-year increase, the company said. Sales were up 305 percent compared to the previous week, before the company began operating the new display.


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