Chicken Controversy at Lotte Mart

Lotte Mart was selling uber cheap chicken last weekend. How do I know? My students talked about it all Monday, and I overheard a few of our Korean teachers discussing its quality in the break room.

5,000 won for a fried chicken is cheap, that’s about $4.50. How cheap is that compared to market prices? According to online reports, the price was cut by about 60%.

Big conglomerate companies selling products for extremely discounted prices, no doubt losing money on a particular item, in order to choke out the surrounding mom and pop competition, as well as to slang the rest of their reasonably priced goods to the super saving hordes of bargain shoppers. Sound familiar?

It makes me think of the resistance to Wal-Mart back home. How many times have they tried putting a store in the Portland area, and how many times have they failed? The people of Portland ain’t having it.

How did Korea respond? First, with 3 hour waiting lines for fried chicken. Come on, that’s cheap. All 82 Lotte Mart stores sold out of their 300 chickens each within a few hours. That’s a lot of poultry. But the madness only lasted 5 days. Complaints to the Korean Franchise Association and the Fair Trade Commission put the kibosh on the cheap chicken.

That said, Joongang Daily reported that the National Assembly recently reviewed fried chicken prices after complaints surfaced about the pricing of chicken at the average restaurant. A raw chicken costs 2,985 won and the average retail prices for the finished product are 15,000.

So who’s really getting screwed here? Yes, Lotte’s pricing was crazy low, but are Kyochon and BBQ Chicken gouging Koreans because of their love for fried chicken?

I rarely eat friend chicken. But when I do, I’ll pay the 16,000 for a boat load of spicy fried chicken bites at Nene’s. It feeds my girlfriend and I for two meals and it’s pretty damn good. I’m not saying I would complain if the prices went down.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on December 14, 2010.

2 Responses to “Chicken Controversy at Lotte Mart”

  1. That would explain the lines at the local Lotte Mart. When me and my girl finally realized what it was all the chicken was gonzo! I love chicken! Especially boneless chicken!

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