A Must Try:Tong-In Traditional Market
Story By:Lucienne Huh and Cristy Youn Editor: Alexandra Oh Web Designer: Li June Choi
3:00pm on Saturday way past lunch time and there are still a lot of people at the market. The reason being is because of how Tong-In Traditional Market has come up with an interesting marketing strategy on 2012. People use their money to trade for yeopjeons, which are Korean traditional coins to buy food in the market. In the entrance, a booth is set up for exchanging Korean won to yeopjeon, 500 won per coin. Although there are a few shops that do not accept yeopjeons, most allow the use of those coins for buying food from them. Yeopjeon exchanging is available from 11am~4pm with exceptions on every Mondays and Sundays of the third week every month.
With the increase of supermarkets like Emart, Costco, Kim’s Club, and more, the popularity and use of the Tong-In Market experienced a dramatic decrease. Since the larger markets are closer, cheaper, with a variety of hot items, customers prefer going to large markets than to traditional markets. Because of this, lots of traditional markets have disappeared along with a loss of jobs for the people working in the market. This is when Tong-In Market decided to come up with the marketing strategy of using yeopjeons and various types of food. The main purpose of this marketing system was to increase the number of customers coming to traditional markets and it seemed to be successful. “After starting this marketing system, a lot of people came. Tong-In market Dae-bak!” said the interviewee who was one of the people selling food. When this marketing system started on 2012, not a lot of people knew about this, but as time passes, more and more people are starting to know about this place and posting information about this place on SNS. Since unique food and places attract young people these days such as a mini fishing area indoors while being able to eat desserts, the traditional market is gaining more visitors with their idea of yeopjeons. Tong-In Market has become a point of interest for young people, becoming a center of traditional food culture for the use of yeopjeons.