Originally posted by abecedarian
And the fact Costco has to close their doors for 2 days a month tells me only one thing:
The government is pandering to the locals.
Maybe the government is listening to the locals. Just because you live in a "fast food, cheap product, gimme tons of crap so I live a good life" existence, doesn't mean everyone else does. Walmart tried to invade Korea as well, and they failed.
Yup, the stars were all aligned, the U.S. dollar was artificially high, the South Korean won was artificially low, Walmart had been experiencing great domestic growth, and the South Korean economy looked like it would be in pretty good shape after the financial crisis shook itself out.
But Koreans weren't interested in the Walmart model.
To explain why, I'll say - you gotta go walk around South Korea. I can explain it and it'll make sense, but it's the kind of thing that wouldn't really resonate unless you go to Korea.
Korea's got the longest work hours in the developed world, and it's not even really close.
According to the OECD's 2004 report, Korean average work hours per year comes in at 2390. Japan, internationally renowned workaholic land? Only 1828. USA? 1777.
...He started work around the regular time - 9AM or so - and was still working after midnight. He was going to work another hour or two before sleeping for a few hours, and then working some more....
When they're not working, they're not interested in lower quality experiences for less money.
Damn near everything in Seoul is really, really nice. All the restaurants, the food, the transit and trains, the buildings, everything. It's clean and prestigious and high quality and upscale. The whole country. Its like Japan in that regard.
So, Walmart rumbles in, gets a good price on the currency, and opens 16 spartan Walmart stores with low prices.
Things don't sell.
Now, I could again explain and explain, but I'll just say - you had to be there. The Korean chain Emart's parent company eventually bought the scraps off the Walmart Korea heap, Walmart losing $800 million in the process.
And limiting shopping on one day? Yes, it has much more a detrimental effect than you would think in a country with such a long work hour schedule.
edit on 3-12-2012 by boncho because: (no reason given)