Stores selling hallyu paraphernalia are flourishing

November 6, 2013
Visitors to “with DRAMA” at Lotte FITIN in Dongdaemun hold up hallyu products. / Courtesy of Lotte FITIN

Visitors to “with DRAMA” at Lotte FITIN in Dongdaemun hold up hallyu products. (Courtesy of Lotte FITIN)

By Kim Ji-soo

The demand for Korean pop cultural content has been consistently strong this year. What has been relatively weak on the other hand however is the diverse range of paraphernalia.

The Lotte FITIN in Dongdaemun, Seoul, has recently opened a section dedicated to “hallyu” or Korean wave products dubbed “with DRAMA.” Korean fans will be able to encounter character products of such K-pop stars as Psy, Super Junior, KARA, Big Bang and Girls’ Generation, as well as top Korean actors such as Jang Geun-suk and Choi Ji-woo.

The products range from pens, dolls, fans, clothes as well as key chains and cell phone cases.

In addition to the tourist goods, posters, DVDs and CDs are available to quench the demand for K-pop and K-drama fans. On the 6th floor where “with DRAMA” is located, Korean beauty and cosmetics products, health food items and other tourist goods are on sale, so that visitors can make it a one-stop shopping destination.

The fashion complex that opened in May does target foreign visitors as its main customers.

“Since our opening in May, more than 30 percent of our sales were by foreigners,“ said a company official. “We hope to make this a must-visit site for foreign visitors to Korea.”

Related product development of K-pop and actors has not been developed in full bloom, relative to their sizzling popularity. The Cube Entertainment, home to popular K-pop groups as 4minute, runs a cafeon the first floor of its building selling the groups’ paraphernalia.

In the commercial hotspot of Myeong-dong, there is KSTORY – an emporium of K-pop.

Thus, the “with DRAMA” in Lotte FITIN offers the closest to a mixed bag of treats with character goods of stars not only from SM Entertainment, but JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment and the actors.

To mark the opening, the shop is offering a discount of 20 percent on K-pop group Super Junior’s photo book and Infinite’s music video/making documentary DVD.