A Veneer of Korean Black Friday

Black Friday in America PARK JAEHYEONl승인2015.11.10l수정2015.11.14 12:11l343호

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Korea can’t find its Black Friday identity. Korean Black Friday loses its original meaning, and fails. Black Friday started in the United States. Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. It happens the day after Thanksgiving, the last Thursday in November. Therefore in this period, consumers tend to spend dramatically. This day is named Black Friday because the entire year’s previous deficit changed from red to black ink after this unique shopping day. The United States retailers started this day for the benefit of both the distribution industries and consumers. Distribution industries prepare and sell products from January to December each year. The expectation had been that the bulk of the stock would be sold by the end of the year. However, retailers found they frequently had a surplus at the end of the year. Black Friday was born to combat this. Therefore, these goods in stock account for Black Friday, and the merchandises are sold to consumers, leaving only the smallest profit margin of products. Therefore, a manufacturer should be able to process the inventory that is stacked against them and make a profit. Also, more than ever, consumers can purchase products at bargain prices. Because of these structures, its rebate usually reaches 80 to 90% at this time. For example, the original price of LG’s 84 inch 3D LED smart TV is $19,999, which was discounted 80% over this period, so you can purchase it just $3,999. The consumption discount rate is so huge that, during this time, U.S. consumption accounts for nearly 20% of the total year. Also, in order for consumers to receive what they want, there are long lines waiting to buy, competition takes place earlier on, and more firearm accidents break out.

In comparison, Korean Black Friday has a big difference. Korean Black Friday discounts are done over about two weeks from August 14th to September 1st. At first glance, Korean Black Friday takes place over a long period of time which seems better, at first, but if you look inside, the situation is different. In the case of American Black Friday, after distributing companies purchase goods from manufacturers and sell them directly to consumers.

However, Korea’s distribution system is quite different from that of the US. In Korea’s structure, the manufacturer is not separated from the distributor. Instead, it takes space in it, and makes its profit by taking fees. For this reason, if the lowest profit margin was left by the manufacturer, there is no higher discount rate possible, because distributors would attempt to get the retail margin. Therefore, in department store, discounts which are promoted by department stores is the just illusion for consumers. Actually, events which are promoted up to 50% discount such as Black Friday, make no difference between regular events. Furthermore, in online shopping, they don’t discount the actual price. Instead, they give their consumers a discount coupon. With this coupon, consumers can buy products with a concessionary price, but the original price is also raised higher than before. Therefore consumers buy at the original price, actually. Even more, some brands deceive their customer. In a Large Mart, Haiti Confectionary’s ‘Home Run Ball’ was discounted only 90 won, so it was criticized by consumers. Also it made a sensation that rather than a discount, selling at elevated prices to consumers. Consumers were deceived by the price tags of clothing that were wrote. The selling product was previous year product, and even a million won lower sum than this year was. In other words, the product from the previous year will now be sold at a higher price, rather than that the discounts implied.

The name of the event is the same, but the reactions of consumers are worlds apart. Korea just pushes this celebration without considering the situation of the country, and companies, only because of successful case of events were implemented. Because of this, the arising in the low discount rate distribution structure, and differences between real images, it just gives disappointment to consumers.

* concessionary (할인된)


PARK JAEHYEON  mk40699@ynu.ac.kr
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