SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Friday kicked off its annual shopping festival to attract more overseas tourists and boost domestic consumption by offering discounts through collaboration with major retailers.
The annual Korea Sale FESTA kicked off for a 22-day run on Nov. 1, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Some 650 online and offline shops, as well as manufacturers, will participate in the event.
South Korea hopes to make its largest shopping event an equivalent to America's Black Friday for South Korean and foreign shoppers.
Consumers and tourists can find updates on the annual sales festival at the official website (www.koreasalefesta.kr).
Major department stores chains, such as Lotte, Hyundai and Shinsegae, along with other supermarkets, traditional markets and convenience stores, will offer major discounts over the three-week festival.
Lotte Group, a local retail giant, vowed to allocate some 1 trillion won (US$856 million) worth of products for the event.
Shinsegae Group also said its 18 affiliates from both online and offline will offer discounts of up to 80 percent.
Local department stores had earlier claimed they would boycott the festival, saying that the discounts were too burdensome.
Tech manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. will offer major discounts along with special gifts.
Carmakers also participated in the event, with Hyundai Motor Co. offering discounts of up to 20 percent for its automobiles.
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