Starbucks Korea's success with collectible giveaways prompts others to follow suit
The popularity of Starbucks Korea's collectible merchandise giveaways has prompted other local firms to follow suit, including Lotte Confectionery, local coffeehouse chain A Twosome Place, Dunkin', McDonald's Korea, and HiteJinro.
However, skeptics say they won't be as successful as Starbucks Korea, due to weaker brand power.
An industry source noted that it's not the item itself that people like but having merchandise with the Starbucks logo on them.
Starbucks Korea started by giving away small suitcases to customers who purchased 17 drinks, creating a craze that made people wait in front of its coffee shops every morning last summer.
It introduced two collectible merchandise items this summer, the "Summer Day Cooler" and "Summer Night Singing Lantern."
The lantern has already gone viral and is being traded on secondhand online markets for 150,000 won, more than twice the 65,000 won that a customer needs to pay for 17 drinks to get the collectible item.
Shinsegae, which owns 50 percent of Starbucks Korea, is giving out one of the two latest Starbucks merchandise items to people who stay at its boutique L'Escape Hotel in Seoul.
To keep people from waiting in long lines at Starbucks stores, the company began selling collectible merchandise on SSG.com. But the e-commerce platform's server crashed after traffic surged by over 10 times the usual.