Tax Refund shops

With the demographic of tourists visiting Korea becoming increasingly diverse, the range of products purchased has also changed. The sale of household goods is as strong as the constantly increasing sales of cosmetic and clothing. In addition to traditional foods and goods, a variety of character merchandise and lifestyle products are also very popular amongst tourists. Read on to learn more about the latest popular shopping items!

Stationery

  • Character Store at Lotte World Mall【 Photo: Character store at Lotte World Mall 】
  • Character Store at【 Photo: Character store at
    a department store in Myeong-dong 】

Korean stationery is popular among many young travelers, thanks to the cute designs and affordable costs. Items range from 3- and 5-color pens to notepads and diaries to stickers. As the popularity of Korean messenger service increases, the animated characters of each service can be found decorating stationery items. These items can be purchased at their offline stores that sell the character merchandise. These offline stores can be found at major attractions and shopping destinations, such as Dongdaemun, Myeong-dong, COEX Mall, and Times Square.

Bath Products

  • Photo: HanbangShampoo【 Photo: Hanbang shampoo 】
  • Photo: Bamboo Salt Toothpaste【 Photo: Bamboo salt toothpaste 】

In addition to the usual Korean cosmetics, bathing and facial cleansing products are often sought by many tourists upon visiting Korea. Following the rise ing popularity of hanbang (traditional Korean herbal medicine) cosmetics that are scientifically formulated with various herbs, other hanbang products such as shampoo, soap, and bamboo salt are also in high demand.

On top of that, the Korean-style exfoliating washcloths are also experiencing growing popularity. All of these items are readily available at any convenience store, supermarket or large retail shop.

Electrical Appliances

  • Photo: Rice Cookers【 Photo: Rice cookers 】
  • Electrical Appliances【 Photo: Automatic bidets 】

While Korean electrical appliances such as TVs and refrigerators have always been popular, the Korean rice cooker in particular is one of the most well-liked items for tourists from Asian countries where rice is a staple food. Juicers, automatic bidets and air purifiers are also frequently purchased. Although retail shops that specialize in electronic appliances can provide expert service, electronic appliances can also be found at major marts and department stores.

Baby & Kitchen Products

  • Photo: Baby Wet Tissues【 Photo: Wet tissues for babies 】
  • Photo: Double-sided Fry Pans【 Photo: Double-sided frying pans 】

Following the increasing number of tourists who fall in the age range of 20 to 39, sales of baby products have also seen an upward trend. Baby products in Korea have gained recognition for their high level of quality, safety and design. The most popular items include diapers, baby wipes and laundry detergent for baby clothes.

 Recently, the sales of kitchen products have also been rising. Particularly, airtight containers, pots and multi-purpose double-sided frying pans have soaring sales. All of these items can be easily found and purchased at major retail shops, department stores or even traditional markets.

Groceries

  • Photo: Local Traditional Liquors【 Photo: Local traditional alcohol 】
  • Variety of Korean Cup Noodles【 Photo: Variety of Korean cup noodles 】

Quick snacks, drinks and instant foods are the most popular items in groceries. While the sale of soju (Korean distilled spirit) is seeing a slight downward trend, makgeolli (Korean rice wine) is now seeing a rise in sales. Organic snacks are also popular for their high quality ingredients. Korean dramas have played a significant role in increasing the sales of Korean ramyeon (instant noodles) as scenes of the protagonists eating tend to stimulate the appetites of K-drama fans.

Along with instant noodles, representative Korean foods such astteokbokki (stir-fried rice cakes) and samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) are also increasing in sales as they are now packed in easy-to-cook pouches with a simple cooking process. Korean instant coffee, yujacha (citron tea) and O'Sulloc green tea are also some best sellers.

This page was last updated on September 10, 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.