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Mascots, badges and gloves fly off the shelves

Dec 19,2017
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The most popular items include mascot dolls, stationary goods, gloves and sneakers. [PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee]
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics merchandise store that sells merchandise is always crowded with interested consumers.

“Thanks to the PyeongChang bench coat and sneakers sales, the number of visitors at the offline store has tripled compared to a month ago,” said Lee Yong-shin, head of the licensing business at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics organizing committee.

There are roughly 850 items that Lotte has developed related to the winter games. This includes hooded T-shirts, hand warmers and scarfs as well as pens shaped like the torch and snowballs.

But despite the range of items on sale, it turns out the most popular products are the official mascot Soohorang and Bandabi dolls.

More than 100,000 mascot dolls have been sold since the online store opened in February this year,

Mascots have always been popular. During the Rio Summer Olympics last year, among the 1 billion pieces of official merchandise sold, 25 percent featured the mascot Vinicius.

It was the same with the PyeongChang Olympics mascots. In just a week after the dolls went on sale online, 6,000 of them had sold out. The 30 centimeter (12 inch) tall doll costs 25,000 won ($23) each.

The second most popular product is the pin badge. In terms of number of items sold, the bench coat comes in third while stationary goods like pocketbooks came in fourth and a magnet took fifth place.

The PyeongChang Olympic gloves are also climbing up the ranks fast. The end of the thumb and index finger on each glove is colored red, allowing the wearer to make a small heart by crossing the fingers. The gloves have been on sales since late October.

The gloves have been gaining in popularity especially since members of K-pop bands such as EXO and AOA posted pictures of them on their social media pages, spiking interest especially among teenagers.

“Gloves have been the most sold item in past Winter Olympics,” Lee said. “By adding the trendy design of creating a small heart, we hope that it will become one of the most representative products during the PyeongChang Olympics.”


BY PARK SO-YOUNG, KIM JI-HAN [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]