Video from MBC:
[Focus News] Korean Elementary Schoolers’ $700 Backpacks..Flying Off the Shelves
The cute kids who are just starting elementary school.
They will need a period of time to adjust to their new life.
But the prices of the backpacks that the students are wearing, and that are a necessary school supply, are not so cute.
Covering these exaggerated prices in this period of low birth rates is Reporter Kim Joon-seok.
Elementary schoolers are back at school for the new semester.
Among the backpacks that they all carry on their backs, are surprisingly expensive pieces.
The newest “randoseru” backpacks imported from Japan go for 700,000 ($700).
One store in the mall quickly sold 100 backpacks, and is ordering more.
Worker selling backpacks:
“It’s not sold out, we still have one left.”
Companies compete with each other to develop different designs and functions.
From backpacks that have the special ability to protect your kids’ spine, to backpacks that have 14k gold embedded on them, to ones that have popular TV and movie characters on them, the trend is to compete to make the most expensive backpack.
Kang Choon-hyun, Backpack store manager:
Parents care a lot about how heavy the backpack is.
As the number of single child families rise, the market for children’s backpacks targeted at parents who want to give their children the best of everything increases as well. Every year, the market rapidly increases, and this year, it is expected to increase to 300,000,000,000 won.
Parent of elementary school student
“Parents are worried that their kids will be bullied at school, so they prefer more expensive brands…”
It’s not just backpacks that are expensive.
There are pencil cases that are 280,000 won and pens that cost more than 100,000 won.
Bags for carrying shoes are 80,000 won, so buying all these for your children can cost over 1,000,000 won, which causes some parents’ feelings of discomfort to grow.
This is a workshop where parents make backpacks for their kids by hand.
Even if you use high quality cloth, it only costs 40,000 – 50,000 won, and there’s enough cloth left after making a backpack to also make pencil cases and bags for carrying shoes.
Jang Hyun-yeong, Mother of an elementary school student
This is a one of a kind backpack, and my kid hears, your mom’s handicraft is excellent, so they seem to be proud of it.
Parents’ stress is deepening as they take a meaningful first step for their children instead of being swept away by businesses.
Comments from Naver:
The parents buy those expensive backpacks because they’re worried their kids might be ostracized?…;; Aren’t the parents the ones who are creating this trend in the first place and kids who follow it?
Aren’t parents the ones who like showing off more? Although it was in a drama, I saw parents who would get all dressed up for a parents’ meeting, and sit there comparing their bags and cars.
Sigh…it’s frustrating…when I was in elementary and middle school, we didn’t ostracize other students for something like that…
If you are fully prepared for your retirement without relying on your kids or the government, who care. But if you have nothing and you act like that, you are just full of vanity.
Let it be. If they can afford to buy a 700,000 won backpack, from the outset they’re not part of the class that worries about the commoners.
But it’s really just to satisfy the parents themselves, kids just dump them in the gym and then go play.
Okay I read your article well, Reporter Kim Joon-seok. It seems your article deliberately aims to instill a sense of deprivation in readers. Just how many parents are actually like this? This was an article worth posting for hits, but I wonder if it’s a newsworthy article. In any case, you did some work to cover the article.
To tell you the truth, it’s not something to be jealous of, but it shows that the parents don’t have anything in their brains. If they want to buy something expensive for their kids, a 100,000 won item is sufficient, and that can be more eye-catching. Who would know the backpack you bought was worth 700,000 won? keke the moment they realize that it’s worth 700,000 won, they will be like “Ah~” and mock you in their mind.
You should know that the kids who carry these expensive brands will become the target of criminals. Bird-brained Mrs. Kim, is your head in the right place?
For elementary schoolers, the backpacks with popular characters you can buy in the street markets are the best…
This is too much…It’s the parents who are at fault, not the kids…Please reflect on your actions.
I’m also a parent of school aged children, but there are a lot people I just don’t get…As my kid got to the upper grade level of elementary school, I bought a 20,000 won backpack because the older one looked too small, and our kid is excited to carry it. Instead of buying what the parents want, just buy what the kids want.
I’m really curious…Do 700,000 won backpacks really sell that well? Not just in Gangnam? Not just the backpack companies’ media play? I don’t understand who’s buying them. Only rich people would buy them. Don’t write the article to make it seem like everyone is buying them. Isn’t it the media who advertise and promote them? Don’t parents get to know about such backpacks because of this article?