S. Korean businesses cancel Halloween promotional events after Itaewon tragedy

SEOUL– South Korean businesses have canceled their Halloween promotional events as the country mourns the death of more than 150 people in a massive stampede in central Seoul, companies said Monday.

Lotte Department Store, a leading shopping mall, said it has called off its plans to hold Halloween parades and run pop-up stores at its Jamsil branch. Posters and promotional images for those events have been removed.

Shinsegae Department Store and Hyundai Department Store also joined the move, canceling all Halloween programs and getting rid of decorations.

Local theme parks, including Lotte World Adventure and Everland, have suspended all Halloween events from Sunday morning, while Starbucks Korea said it has wrapped up its promotions for Halloween drinks.

At least 154 people were killed in the crowd surge during Halloween celebrations in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon on Saturday night, with dozens more injured.

The South Korean government has designated a weeklong national mourning period through Saturday, with flags at half-mast at government buildings and public offices across the country during the period.
Samsung Electronics Co., the No. 1 home appliances maker, scrapped its plan to hold a Halloween promotional party in Seoul last weekend and stopped releasing its SmartThings brand advertisements.

LG Electronics Inc. has also canceled all Halloween promotional events and removed related posters and decorations from its local stores across the country.

Kakao Corp., the operator of No. 1 mobile messenger KakaoTalk, has wrapped up its Halloween discount events on the chat application.

Kakao and Naver Corp., the country’s largest internet portal operator, have opened special spaces for online mourning and grieving on their mobile apps.

South Korea’s mobile carriers led by SK Telecom Co. have not run off promotional events for Halloween, along with foreign tech firms, including Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.

Local mobile game publishers were not exceptions. NCsoft Corp., a leading game developer that runs popular fantasy role-playing game “Lineage,” has announced its Halloween event has been cancelled.

Nexon Co., Netmarble Corp. and Com2uS have also scrapped all their plans to continue promotions.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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