Daigou and livestreaming rescue Korean duty-free stores | WARC | The Feed
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Daigou and livestreaming rescue Korean duty-free stores
Duty-free stores in Korea have been hard hit by plummeting tourism during the pandemic, but a combination of Chinese daigou and livestreaming has helped keep them afloat.
The number of foreign visitors to South Korea fell 1,663% from 2019 to 2021 – that’s about 16 million fewer potential shoppers in duty-free stores. But daigou are still coming and there’s a twist: previously they would simply buy tax-free items in bulk to resell on Chinese e-commerce marketplaces but now they’re livestreaming from near-empty stores.
The duty-free operation of retail giant Lotte reports that 95% of its duty-free sales during the pandemic period have been made via such resellers.
What it means for brands
Duty-free companies are having to pay commissions to daigou to come to their stores. The resellers are also asking for discounts from the brands in-store: a refusal can lead to a boycott and zero sales, Korea JoongAng Daily reports.
Meanwhile, brands are also paying commissions to wang hong (online influencers), with at least one, Olive Young, setting up a mini-studio in store to make it easier for them to do live streams.
More generally, duty-free stores are starting to target locals through online channels, as the government lifts some selling restrictions.
Sourced from Korea JoongAng Daily [Image: Photo Unsplash]
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