“Since the beginning of this year, the number of foreign customers at the department store has increased dramatically. I planned a ‘ K- beauty’ lecture for them , and the nationals of the United States, Peru, Egypt, Cambodia, and Kazakhstan applied. The staff were amazed and said, ‘Isn’t this enough for the Olympics?’” On the 3rd, Lotte Department Store held a ‘ K- beauty class’
for foreign tourists . It was a place to introduce and experience Korean beauty trends and popular products. In the meantime, there have been beauty lectures targeting domestic customers, but this was the first time for foreigners. Da-jeong Kim and Da-hae Mind, buyers of Lotte Department Store, who planned this lecture, said in unison, “I didn’t expect the reaction from foreign customers to be this good.” More than 80 foreigners applied for the lecture, which was held twice with 10 students each, showing a competition rate of 4 to 1. Buyer Kim Da-jeong said, “It was impressive to see foreigners actively participating in skincare products by applying them directly.”
As earnings deteriorated due to the recent decline in consumer sentiment, the department store industry is making a breakthrough by expanding sales to foreigners. In fact, since the endemic (infectious disease), the number of foreign tourists has increased and sales have also risen sharply.
According to the industry on the 13th, the sales of the three department stores from January to July increased by 320% for Lotte, 363% for Shinsegae, and 380% for Hyundai compared to the same period last year. In particular, in the case of the main branch of Lotte Department Store in Sogong-dong, Seoul, where many foreigners visit, the number increased by nearly 6 times during the same period. Compared to 2019, before Corona 19, Hyundai Department Store increased more than 200%.
In terms of nationality, if the proportion of Chinese was overwhelming in the past, now it is characteristic that it has diversified to Europe and Southeast Asia. Another difference is that individual tours of small groups or families, rather than group tours, have become the focus.
In the second quarter of this year, the three department stores performed poorly. Lotte Department Store recorded 822 billion won in sales and 66 billion won in operating profit, down 0.8% and 36.9% year-on-year, respectively. Profitability deteriorated as SG&A expenses increased due to inflation, including a rise in utility rates amid slowing consumer sentiment. Shinsegae and Hyundai also saw their operating profits drop by 23.9% and 27.8%, respectively, during the same period.
Accordingly, the industry is targeting foreigners as a new target먹튀검증. Various programs were put forward to make ‘ K- shopping’ an essential tourism content. The beauty lecture at Lotte Department Store is such an attempt. This time, the class was only taught in English, but in the future, we plan to operate it in a more subdivided manner, such as classifying it by country and giving lectures in the language of that country. This is because each country has different preferred brands, such as ‘Jungsaemmul’ in Japan, ‘Tamburines’ in China, and ‘Sulwhasoo’ in Southeast Asia. Buyer Mindahae said, “I want people to take K- beauty classes when they come to Korea, just like taking cooking classes in Thailand and surfing classes in Bali.”
Hyundai Department Store has been running a one-hour The Hyundai Seoul tour program for foreigners since last month. Visit pop-up stores, etc., and experience ‘Leave proof shots’. Song Ji-eun, Senior Vice President of The Hyundai Seoul Marketing Team, said, “The Hyundai Seoul has prepared a tour that guides foreigners in English as word of mouth has spread as a global ‘hot place’ through social media ( SNS ).” “Sounds, a large indoor garden I like taking proof shots at ‘Forest’, and I’m very interested in idol pop-up events and K- food.”
Shinsegae Department Store expanded and relocated the foreigner-only desk in its head office in May. What was on the first basement floor of the main building was moved to the second floor of the new building, and the size of the existing 4-5 pyeong was greatly increased to 30 pyeong. Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay promotions are also underway. An official from the company said, “Foreign sales increased in various fields such as fashion and cosmetics, and recovered to a level similar to that in 2019, before Corona 19.”