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Fashion craze of this winter is the bench coat

Nov 23,2017
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Above: Around 1,000 people trooped to Lotte Department Store’s Jamsil branch on Wednesday morning to buy the official PyeongChang Winter Olympics coat. Right: People shout with joy after succeeding in getting coat after a long wait. [YONHAP, LIM HYUN-DONG]
Padded coats that come down below the knee are this winter’s “it” fashion item, among both men and women, as seen in the hyper-popular official souvenir coat for the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Also known as a bench coat because they can be spotted on benched athletes waiting on the sidelines for their time on the field, long coats by a range of brands are flying off the shelves.

Select branches of Lotte Department Store, an Olympics sponsor, sold every one of the latest supply of the official Winter Olympics coats Wednesday morning - 3,000 coats in all.

Sales were scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., but queues exceeded the available quantity at 6 a.m. at the Jamsil branch, according to the department store.

Only one coat was allowed each customer. The price for the unisex coat is 149,000 won ($137.09), much lower than long, padded coats by trendy fashion brands.

Lotte Homeshopping said Wednesday that the sales of bench coats made by brand including Puma and Sketchers surpassed 10 billion won since October, selling more than 70,000 coats in total.

It said it will double the hours the channel dedicates to promoting bench coat from Wednesday because of such strong interest.

“The response is explosive for the bench coat, which used to be worn by athletes,” said Song Jae-hee, who is in charge of fashion for the channel.

“Lotte Homeshopping is planning to double the broadcasting hours of these bench coats and will expand the number of brands as well,” Song added.

CJ O’Shopping sold 19,000 bench coats produced by Ce&, which is a collaborative brand between the channel and domestic designer Ko Tae-yong, in just 50 minutes on Tuesday.

CJ O’Shopping said Wednesday that it rang up 2.1 billion won in sales from the coats on a single day, which was 2.7 times more than its sales target.

Musical group Super Junior made a special appearance to promote the coats on Tuesday evening.

“Idol group Super Junior catapulted the sales and viewership and the long, padded coat has been one of the hottest items in the winter apparel market,” CJ O’Shopping official said.

Lotte Department Store will sell its remaining 4,000 units of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics coats at select branches on Nov. 24 and 30.

On Nov. 24, the coat will be available at branches in Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Changwon, Ulsan and Gwangju.

The Paju, Dongbusan and Suwan Lotte Outlet stores will also be allotted some coats.

On Nov. 30, the coats will be once again be available at Lotte’s Jamsil branch.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]