Sales boosted by talk of price increases

| March 13, 2013

Talk of price increases has done wonders for cigarette sales in South Korea.

According to a story by Yoo-jin Lee and Sun-ah Kim for the Maeil Business Newspaper, sales have risen rapidly at the country’s large-scale discount stores and convenience stores since the possibility of prices rises was first raised on Wednesday last week.

This is perhaps not surprising. Korean smokers are unused to tax increases – the most recent one was in 2005 – and the Ministry of Health and Welfare is on record as saying that the retail price of cigarettes should climb to WON5,000 – from WON2,500.

Cigarette sales at large-scale stores had gone from contraction to abrupt growth, the story said.

They had jumped by 30 per cent at Lotte Mart since Wednesday of last week.

Sales at Lotte Mart reached their highest level in 2008 and then shrank by 11.3 per cent in 2009, 8.7 per cent in 2010, 15.7 per cent in 2011 and 15.6 per cent in 2012.

Category: Breaking News

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