Buycotts as ‘Good Influence’ Gain Traction in S. Korea
(Korea Bizwire) — Jincheon, a county of some 85,000 residents, about 90 kilometers southeast of Seoul, received an unexpected windfall late last month following media reports that it will provide temporary accommodation to 390 Afghan evacuees brought in from Kabul.
In support of the county’s decision to embrace the foreigners, people flocked to the county-run online market to buy Jincheon regional specialties, such as rice, other grains and fruit.
With the purchase orders pouring in, the officials had to shut down the website for a few days in order to process the deliveries. According to the county, the sales for four days surged to an amount surpassing its monthly average.
“I am deeply touched by the grateful hearts that embraced the Afghan people. I hope my purchase will help a little,” a customer’s comment read on the Jincheon mall website, one of the scores of similar comments that filled the review pages. The online store was back in business as of last Thursday.
Efforts to spend money for an individual or entity in support of their right choices or ethical deeds are gathering steam in South Korea, amid a growing consumer trend that seeks to find value and meaning in purchases.
Experts say the emerging “buycott” movement, or what’s lately dubbed here “buycotts for good influence,” is seen as a new phenomenon in a country perhaps more familiar with political boycotts against particular brands for their unethical behavior or discriminatory remarks.