Annoying Things About Korea #11: Shame on You, Retailers

Fears of Radiation Are Elevated in Korea
By now, native Koreans are used to living under an umbrella of underlying fear. This is one aspect of the Korean psyche. Fear of being subjugated, fear of being attacked by North Korea, and now, fear of radiation. However, today, the Chosun Ilbo reported that retailers have begun to introduce “radiation protective” products.

Koreans’ Love of Fads
In no small way, Koreans love fads. Have you ever heard of K-POP??? Super Junior, SNSD, 2NE1, the list is endless. The Seoul Gyopo Guide PROMISES that in the annals of great music, in 100 years, the number of KPOP groups included in list of great musicians/vocalists will be exactly…zero. That is NOT to say this is trend isn’t viable, nor unprofitable. There are positive aspects of Koreans’ love of detail, however. Samsung, LG Electronics, and Hyundai-Kia are some of the Korean companies that have benefited because Korean consumers are highly, highly demanding.

Fear of Radiation and Koreans’ Love of Fads = Exploitation
Well, many Koreans spend much of their savings on the private education system (hagwons), in part due to dedication to their children. Given that dedication, the timeline of the Japanese tsunami, and the resulting radioactive fallout, have combined to create an “opportunity” for businesses, which have created ridiculous products for fad-crazed, fear-stricken Koreans. Some of the fear is well-placed because governments have a poor track record in revealing the entire truth, and Korea is no exception. However, the products, and the practices of retailers which are blatantly taking advantage of this combination is indeed annoying, to say the least.

To see the Seoul Gyopo Guide’s other Annoying Things About Korea, click here.