Department stores in South Korea have launched an all-out effort to secure VIP customers who spend more than ordinary customers.

Large department stores have suffered fallout from the surge in popularity of online shopping malls for years, but sales have come under further pressure with the coronavirus outbreak.

For example, sales at Lotte Department Store from March 1 to 22 decreased by 37.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

At the height of the pandemic, and under the burden of its economic consequences, the top priority for South Korean department stores is to secure VIP customers. While VIP customers at the Galleria Department Store account for only 10 per cent of all customers, their consumption amounts to 60 per cent of sales.

Even when the number of visits by regular customers dropped by half after the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of VIP customers dropped by only about 20 per cent.

Managing loyal VIP customers and securing more big players in the future is a matter directly related to a store’s survival.