S. Korea to hold nationwide shopping festival in November

S. Korea to hold nationwide shopping festival in November

SEOUL: South Korea will hold a massive nationwide shopping festival involving major retailers, manufacturers and traditional markets in November to attract foreign tourists and boost domestic consumption, Yonhap News Agency reported organisers as saying Friday.

The annual Korea Sale FESTA will kick off Nov 1 for a 15-day run, offering items ranging from electronics and furniture to cosmetics and apparel, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the organising committee.

A total of 1,328 companies are slated to participate in the festival, making this year’s edition the largest-ever event. The number is up from last year’s 704 participants.

The number of participating consumer goods makers, including cars, apparel, electronics and cosmetics, will be more than double that for last year’s event. Participating companies will hold a range of online and offline discount events, as well as offer freebies and giveaways.

In particular, 17 municipal and provincial governments will participate, making the festival a nationwide event.

Large-scale sales promotion activities will also be held in a bid to induce foreign consumers to buy South Korean goods and help boost the country’s overseas shipments, according to the ministry.

This year’s festival will be the sixth since the government launched it in 2015 to help bolster the national economy, which had been hit hard by a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak.

The shopping festival comes as the coronavirus pandemic has caused South Korea’s exports and private consumption to hit the skids, making a big dent in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

South Korea’s gross domestic product contracted 3.2 per cent on-year in the April-June period, following a 1.3 per cent contraction in the first quarter.