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BARGAIN HUNTING, KOREAN STYLE:
Reproduction of Seoul Bazaar Opens in Tokyo
January 18, 2001
In South Korea, Dongdaemun Market is a vast bazaar of women's clothing and miscellaneous goods. The little Dongdaemun Market in Shibuya, located in the fashionable Shibuya Parco Quattro building, offers a selection of the latest products that changes on a weekly basis. The "freshness" of the product selection and low prices--T-shirts retail for about 500 yen (4.5 U.S. dollars at 110 yen to the dollar)--are the market's main selling points. Haggling is permitted, and the potential for discounts attracts not only young people but also housewives, mothers with children in tow, and middle-aged women who come to experience the ambience of a trip to Korea.
Seoul's Dongdaemun Market
Shibuya's Dongdaemun Market
The little Dongdaemun Market offers low-priced fashions and small miscellaneous items imported directly from Korea. Buyers can find not only T-shirts at rock-bottom prices, but also the latest styles of clothing for about half the going rate in Japan. For example, skirts cost from 2,900 yen (26 dollars) to 3,900 yen (35 dollars). Dongdaemun Market also carries a rich selection of popular leather goods. Fortunately for local shoppers, these items are sized to Japanese proportions.
Like shoppers at the original Dongdaemun Market in Seoul, visitors to Dongdaemun Market in Shibuya can bargain with the salespeople to get even better discounts. The sales clerks carry small terminals known as "discount machines" on straps around their necks, which they use to input negotiated prices immediately into the shop's price monitoring system. The terminals can instantly print price tags reflecting the newly negotiated price, so paying at the check-out is also a simple process. By making use of the simple Korean phrase "Kkakka-juseyo!" (Please give me a discount), any shopper can easily experience the pleasures of bargaining with salespeople at Dongdaemun Market.
Plans call for Dongdaemun Market to expand its offerings beyond apparel to include food and beverages, as well as music-related goods. Branches of the Korean marketplace will also be established in Osaka and Kyushu. In the future, Dongdaemun Market will likely function not only as a sales outlet for Korean goods, but also as a base for transmitting information about Korean culture.
Copyright (c) 2001 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.