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Society & Global
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 김승환
The Tongkeun is being Released with the Pros and Cons
제 122 호    발행일 : 2011.03.01 


 People were waiting to buy the Tongkeun chicken, which was supposed to be discontined at December 15 (http://www.joinsmsn.com)
 
 
 Three months after Tongkeun chicken was released, impacting society greatly, the production of chicken was discontinued, but its concept is still used.
 
 Tongkeun chicken is a brand of chicken that was sold in Lotte Mart from December 9 to 15. Its price was only 5,000 won and the price of the chicken caused a great sensation.
 
 People were delighted with the Tongkeun chicken, saying other chicken which they had eaten was unreasonably expensive compared with its raw material price. It is assumed that chain stores had raised the price as a differentiation strategy. Some people said that Tongkeun chicken’s low price would cause a price competition in the chicken market and bring benefi ts to consumers. Tongkeun chicken gained great popularity, and more than 740,000 units were sold within only 3 days.
 
 Tongkeun chicken also received negative responses, Jung Jin-seok, a senior secretary for politicial affairs, pointed out problems of Tongkeun chicken through Twitter. In addition, 30 people, related with the franchises, protested
against Tongkeun chicken in front of Lotte Mart building in Yeongdeungpo. On December
16, Lotte Mart put a stop to selling Tongkeun chicken.

 
 After a time, Lotte Mart conducted a reduced-price strategy again. Lotte Mart released netbooks priced at 298,000 won cooperating with Moneual, a medium-sized enterprise. Those netbooks, which were named ‘Tongkeun netbooks’ by netizens, sold out within fi ve hours of being released.
 
 Following the Tongkeun netbooks, Lotte Mart sold American LA ribs at 1,250 won per 100g. It was more than 50% cheaper than the usual LA ribs. The total amount of ribs Lotte Mart prepared for the event was 250 tons, and it sold out within a day.
 
 However, this event was severely criticized by netizens and livestock farmers because the sale was conducted while livestock farmers were being damaged by the Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
 
 The next Tongkeun concept was Tongkeun bean curd. Lotte Mart released it with Samyoungfood on January 25. The price is the same as normal bean curd, but it was more than three times bigger than the normal one.
 
 A representative of Lotte Mart explained that Tongkeun’s low prices were possible because they cut the marketing cost and reduced the margin as greatly as possible, and he added they would release the Tongkeun series continuously.
 
 In the current situation, many other companies are also releasing low-priced products because they feel threatened by the Tongkeun series. Most
netizens welcome this situation saying, “Those products are for common people.” On the other hand, small merchants are nervous about the damage that they may suffer if their rival products are released.

 
 
By Kim Seung-hwan
sh31@cbnu.ac.kr
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