Youths Tempted with `X-Generation' Marketing

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), May 14, 1999 | Go to article overview

Youths Tempted with `X-Generation' Marketing


With the double bonus of approaching ``Coming of Age Day,'' falling on Monday and the steadily improving economy, cash-loaded youths in Korea are once again on a pre-IMF buying binge.

And the retailers and marketing experts are not about to miss this golden phase for drawing in sales either.

The last of the ``family holidays'' this month following the Teacher's Day today celebrates those turning 20, the age Koreans consider children to be adults, which gives plenty of ``bait'' ideas to retailers.

The Galeria Department Store stocked up on perfumes and stylish suits after its survey of 500 customers named them the two most desired gifts, in addition to the more traditional items like fashion watches, sunglasses, cellular phones, neckties, shoes, cosmetics and handbags -- all already prominently displayed on store shelves.

But the marketing experts are not just sitting by crossing their fingers for sales. They are rolling up their sleeves and working what could be called the ``X-generation marketing.'' Specifically, dangling in front of young shoppers, what they cannot refuse -- free trips, shopping and even hair perms.

The Hyundai Department Store key card, for example, is the ``Neo-X Card,'' given to shoppers aged 16-23 when they purchase 50,000 won or more through the 23rd. It will later draw 152 names and present a 5 million won scholarship to a language study program abroad, it said.

Others following similar suit are Shinsegae, offering backpack trips to Europe and Hong Kong to those buying sunglasses and accessories, and LG Department Store, giving 30 1 million won gift certificates to its X-generation customers.

Hanshin Core Department Store, the distinct gift giver, plans on handing out free hair permanent gift certificates to 17 just turned ``of age'' young women.

``The response is very good so far (to this kind of marketing). Adults are sometimes embarrassed about signing up for free gifts, but young people today don't even hesitate. They get excited about the prizes and tend to spend more to meet the minimum spending requirement,'' a sales employee of Sinchon Hyundai Department Store said.

Considering that 30 percent of the Korean population are the so-called X-generation, however, marketing to target youths is hardly a new trend. …

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