Korea to blend ICT power with shopping in this year’s annual nationwide sales season

2017.07.24 14:24:22 | 2017.07.24 14:24:50

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South Korea will present a virtual reality (VR) shopping complex for consumers in time with the launch of Korea Sale Festa - an expansive government-sponsored bargain sales period across the nation that has become post-summer ritual amid poor domestic consumption - held this year from September 28 to October 31.

The government said it signed an agreement to partner with companies to develop and activate the VR shopping mall on Monday.

Under the system, consumers would wear a VR headset to look around virtual shops and purchase desired items mobile or online. Even without the headset that delivers complete VR shopping experience, consumers could shop at a 3D virtual store.

The VR shopping mall will be joined by major retailers and manufacturers as merchants to display and sell products at a discount. They include Lotte Department Store, Hyundai Department Store, E-Mart, LG Electronics and Lotte Himart.

Consumers could also experience shopping by virtually visiting Korea’s traditional open-air markets such as Dongdaemun’s Jagalchi Market and hot shopping districts such as Hongdae and Insa-dong. This is the world’s first project to build a VR shopping complex in collaboration with multiple industry partners, the government said.

The government will also cooperate with industry partners to distribute some 10,000 VR headsets for free or very cheap to boost consumer participation. A VR demo room will be in place at the Korea Sale Festa pavilion to be installed at Gwanghwamun Plaza. In addition, the government will develop and distribute a VR software kit for VR shopping content developers.

Korea Sale Festa, now in its third year, is the country’s largest shopping tourism festival and this year’s dates are overlapping with the Chuseok holidays (Sept. 30-Oct. 9).

By Ko Jae-man

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