An­tic­i­pa­tion builds for Black Fri­day

JoongAng Daily - - Front Page - BY PARK EUN-JEE ej­park@joongang.co.kr ej­park@joongang.co.kr

The 39-inch set will be $300, about $100 less than its cur­rent U.S. price.

Amer­i­can re­tailer Sam’s Club also an­nounced that it would of­fers LG’s 60 inch TV for about half of its reg­u­lar U.S. price, at $648.

The big­gest shop­ping sea­son in the United States typ­i­cally starts with Hal­loween, fol­lowed by Black Fri­day on Nov. 28, Cy­ber Mon­day on Dec. 1 and the lead-up to Christ­mas. won for the first time. In the first half of this year, Kore­ans spent 753.8 bil­lion won at over­seas on­line malls, a 48.5 per­cent in­crease over the same pe­riod last year. Korea Cus­toms Ser­vice es­ti­mated that this year’s to­tal spend­ing could sur­pass 2 tril­lion won.

Amid the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of di­rect pur­chas­ing from abroad, lo­cal re­tail­ers are seek­ing to keep their cus­tomers loyal by of­fer­ing their own sea­sonal pro­mo­tions.

Through Wed­nes­day, Lotte Mart is giv­ing a dis­count of up to 50 per­cent on 1,200 items.

E-com­merce sites are also brac­ing for the sea­son.

G-Mar­ket will kick off its “Su­per Black Sale” in mid-Novem­ber, pro­vid­ing dis­counts on popular items from over­seas di­rect pur­chas­ing sites. 11st will give up to 50 per­cent off on de­signer brands from Nov. 17 to 30.

Card com­pa­nies have also an­nounced pro­mo­tions ahead of Black Fri­day.

Hyundai Card users can get $15 back on a pur­chase of more than $50 if they sign up for Ebates, an on­line shop­ping web­site, be­fore Nov. 16. KB Card and NH Card are hold­ing a cash back sea­sonal event in which users re­ceives up to 50,000 won. Lee Dong-chan, an honorary pres­i­dent of Kolon Group who helped lay the foun­da­tion for Korea’s rise from a wartorn, des­ti­tute na­tion into an in­dus­trial pow­er­house, died on Satur­day. He was 92.

Kolon said that Lee died of nat­u­ral causes, and a fu­neral hall was set up at Yon­sei Univer­sity’s Sev­er­ance Hos­pi­tal in western Seoul.

The growth of the company mir­rored Korea’s rapid state-led in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion phases.

Kolon Group started off as a ny­lon man­u­fac­turer un­der the name Han­guk Ny­lon in 1957 with the support of the state. It went on to be­come one of Korea’s first ex­port­ing com­pa­nies in the 1960s, help­ing make Korea a ma­jor ny­lon ex­porter. In the 1970s, Korea’s share in the world’s ny­lon pro­duc­tion was less than 1 per­cent but by 1993, it had be­come the fifth-largest ex­porter glob­ally. As the first company to build a ny­lon plant, Kolon has had a last­ing im­pact on Korea’s tex­tiles in­dus­try.

At the helm of the company dur­ing the tran­si­tional pe­riod be­tween the 1970s and ’90s was the late Lee.

After Lee’s fa­ther founded the tex­tile company in Daegu, North Gyeongsang, in 1957, he took over in 1977.

Lee fo­cused on value added prod­uct lines such as film, video tape and med­i­cal sup­plies in an ef­fort to di­ver­sify Kolon’s port­fo­lio. The 1980s saw the de­cline of the Korean tex­tile in­dus­try due to stiff com­pe­ti­tion from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and pro­tec­tion­ism from de­vel­oped coun­tries.

In the ’90s, Kolon de­vel­oped syn­thetic fiber man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy, spe­cial­ized in poly­mers and pre­ci­sion chem­i­cals, and also be­came the first Korean company to man­u­fac­ture polyester.

The driv­ing force be­hind the company’s pi­o­neer­ing sta­tus was Lee’s em­pha­sis on in­no­va­tion and his in­vest­ment in re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters.

Lee re­tired in 1995, be­stow­ing his son, Lee Woong-yeul, the top po­si­tion.

When he re­tired, the older Lee de­fended his decision, say­ing that the younger Lee de­serves the po­si­tion not be­cause he was his son but be­cause he was the most de­voted worker at the company.

The late Lee was among the few business ex­ec­u­tives who was never in­volved in al­le­ga­tions of fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

Lee was pas­sion­ate about run­ning on Kolon’s marathon team.

“The sport matches well with my phi­los­o­phy,” he said in an in­ter­view, “be­cause it’s not about the speed one can make, but more about the ef­fort and per­se­ver­ance one spends to reach the fin­ish line.”

Born in Yeongil, North Gyeongsang, Lee grad­u­ated from Ja­pan’s Waseda Univer­sity in 1944.

He served as head of the Korea Em­ploy­ers Fed­er­a­tion in the late 1990s after his re­tire­ment.

He is sur­vived by his son, Lee Woong-yeul, who now leads Kolon Group, and five daugh­ters.

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