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Retailers to raise prices of alcoholic beverages

All News 10:17 January 05, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's discount chains and convenience stores said Thursday they will raise prices of beer and soju, a popular Korean distilled beverage, beginning next week.

CU, a major South Korean convenience store chain, is set to raise prices of two brands of 360 milliliter soju bottles -- Hite Jinro's Chamisul and Lotte Chilsung Beverage's Chum-Churum -- to 1,700 won (US$1.4) from 1,600 won.

The convenience store also plans to raise prices of Oriental Brewery's Cass and its rival Hite Jinro's Hite to 1,900 won each from 1,850 won and 1,800 won, respectively.

GS25 and Seven Eleven, two other major convenience store chains, also plan to follow suit.

E-Mart, the No. 1 discount store chain in South Korea, is also set to sell a 500 ml beer bottle for 1,410 won, up from 1,330 won. It will also raise soju prices to 1,220 won from 1,140 won.

Lotte Mart, a discount store chain operated by South Korea's retail giant Lotte Group, said it will raise prices of a 640 ml beer bottle to 1,830 won from 1,750 won.

The planned price hike came in response to a recent government decision to raise a subsidy for empty bottles of beer and soju.

Consumers can now receive 100 won from retailers in return for handing over an empty soju bottle, compared with 40 won in the past. In case of beer, consumers can receive 130 won, up from 50 won when they return an empty bottle of beer.

The price hike came just months after Oriental Brewery Co. and Hite Jinro raised their beer prices by an average 6 percent and 6.33 percent, respectively.

AB InBev, the world's largest beer producer, purchased Oriental Brewery Co., South Korea's biggest brewer, in 2014.

Retailers to raise prices of alcoholic beverages - 1


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