Korean retailers welcome Chinese shoppers

chinese-tourists-in-korea-china-elite-focusAbout 150,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit Korea during the seven-day Chinese National Holiday from Oct. 1-7,  a 60 percent increase on the year before.

For the past two years, Chinese tourists have been driving Korea’s tourism boom, making up more than a third of foreign visitors.

Various retailers, including department stores, are offering services specially tailored to cash in on the boom in Chinese visitors.

Lotte Department Store is running a “Find the Chinese shopping magnate” promotion, which offers golden pigs, each worth 5 million won, and round-trip tickets to customers who make a certain number of purchases. The store has also doubled the number of employees who speak Chinese, Asia Business Daily reports.

Shinsaegae Department Store is opening K-Pop pop-up stores to showcase famous Korean stars’ products, DVDs, and posters. Hyundai Department Store is launching “K Sales” to attract Chinese tourists, offering 10-20 percent discount to costumers with foreign passports.

Cosmetic brands in Myeongdong district are also offering customized services. For instance, Nature Republic is running advertisements in Chinese for its “The Prime Line” products, which are particularly popular with the Chinese.

An increasing number of Chinese visitors are travelling independently rather than in tour groups.

These independent tourists have a relatively high disposable income and spend more time shopping for luxury brands in Gangnam and Cheongdam districts rather than visiting tourist attractions.

As a result, more and more Korean retailers are increasing services and products aimed at visitors from China.