Wine sales shoot up as drinkers spend rainy season at home

Wine sales jumped up at convenience store chain CU after the company started selling wine online in June. [BGF RETAIL]

Wine sales have jumped up this year, especially in recent weeks as the record long rainy season saw more people staying indoors. 
BGF Retail saw sales of wines increase rapidly at its convenience store franchise CU in August. Premium wines were particularly popular.
Sales began to increase after the company started selling wine online via its mobile app in April. The service launch followed the lifting of a ban on online purchases of liquor, enabling consumers to freely order and pay for alcoholic drinks online. Before, only traditional liquor could be bought online.
Sales of wine at CU rose 64.1 percent in June, followed by 75.5 percent in July and a whopping 121.8 percent this month from Aug. 1 through Aug. 16.
August sales were boosted by the rainy season and the continued Covid-19 pandemic, which led more people to stay home, avoiding crowds.
CU app users are able to make a reservation to purchase a certain type of wine and then pay for the wine at the store when picking it up.
Premium wine was particularly well-received. Online sales of wine that cost 150,000 won ($127) or more accounted for 30 percent of wine sales this month. Compared to the previous month, sales of premium wine in August jumped up 170 percent.
“The demand for premium wine hasn’t yet spiked because consumers are not yet familiar with them,” said Kim Seong-mo, a spokesperson for BGF Retail. “At this stage, merchandisers are trying to find the kinds of premium wine that match consumers’ tastes.”
Online shopping platform G9, operated by Ebay Korea, also saw sales of wine-related products increase this year.
Sales of wine-related products like wine stoppers and wine racks rose 121 percent from January through Aug. 12 compared to the same period last year.
Those in their 30s and 40s were the biggest consumers of alcohol beverage-related goods.  
As drinking with co-workers at bars becomes increasingly uncommon, more people have started to drink with their family at home, according to Ebay Korea.
In line with the trend, department stores are also strengthening their wine lineups, with Lotte Department Store recently launching limited sales of Australian wine from Penfolds vineyards. Shinsegae Department Store is targeting price-conscious consumers, offering up to 70 percent discounts on wine for those looking for gifts to celebrate the upcoming Chuseok holiday that starts late next month.
BY JIN MIN-JI   [[email protected]]

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