Faced with near-zero sales in Korea, Japanese beer brands have offered to axe their wholesale prices for supplies to convenient stores in Korea that would accept them.
According to retail industry sources on Tuesday, convenience store chain Seven-Eleven has agreed with Asahi beer importer Lotte Asahi and M’s Beverage – importer of Sapporo brand – to stock up their brands at prices cut by an average 30 percent starting last Friday.
The discounted offerings are available in 25 labels including Asahi, Sapporo, Yebisu, Kirin Ichiban, Kozel and Pilsner Urquell. A 500-ml Asahi can that used to be 2,350 won ($2.03) is now available at 1,580 won.
The sale program is mutually beneficial as importers are under dire straits because of the boycott and retailers also need to clear out their stock, said an official at Seven-Eleven.
Importers and distributors have approached other convenient store franchises and retailers.
The franchise will leave the promotion decisions up to individual retailers to avoid causing bad publicity as sentiment towards Japanese brands remains negative. Japanese beer that used to be best sellers in Korea hardly sell after Koreans shunned anything related to Japan after Tokyo launched trade barriers over history issues in July. Imports of Japanese beer in September plunged 99.9 percent on year.
By Kim Tae-sung, Shim Hee-jin and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]