Korean supermarkets struggle for survival as another Han Arem Market opens in Flushing

As Han Arem Market, one of the biggest Korean food retail stores in the United States, prepares to open its new branch in Murray Hill, Flushing, many Korean supermarkets have begun a bitter struggle for survival in this heavily Korean-populated area.

Indeed, cutthroat competition seems unavoidable. Han Arem plans to launch a large promotion at the end of this month, when its Han Arem Asian Market in Murray Hill opens. And Han Yang Super Market and Assi Plaza are preparing to retaliate with major sales on summer merchandise.

Heeyun Park, the general manager of Assi Plaza, said, “We’re taking measures to counteract the opening of the 15th Han Arem Asian Market. We will drastically lower the prices of summer merchandise and improve our services, so that we do not lose our customers.”

Accordingly, Assi Plaza has lowered the prices of summer mats, meat, vegetables, and barbecue supplies, in addition to beans and glutinous rice cakes, which are crucial ingredients for the bean ice flakes with syrup, a traditional Korean summer treat. Currently, the mats are 20 percent off, while barbecue supplies and ice creams are 10 percent and 50 percent off, respectively.

Park also said that Assi plans to “come up with various bonus prizes that will cater to the individual taste and needs of the customers.”

Han Yang Market, located only six blocks away from the Murray Hill Han Arem, plans to prolong its “refrigerator giveaway,” which originally started as a special World Cup event and has received favorable responses from customers. Starting at the end of this month, Han Yang also plans to enlarge its stock of camping and outdoor supplies and lower their prices.

Jong-gun Oh, the director of Han Yang Market, said, “Although some losses are expected from the opening of Han Arem Asian Market nearby, we will fight back with better quality products and high-class services.”

Meanwhile, Han Arem Asian Market is finishing up its interior construction and plans to launch a major publicity campaign to commemorate the grand opening.

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