- Title: K-Pop fans brave Seoul's Christmas chill to buy BTS 'merch'
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: BTS CHARACTER NOTEPADS AND PENS ON DISPLAY SIGN READING (English): "BTS POP-UP HOUSE OF BTS" / FANS QUEUING OUTSIDE STORE MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WHO ARE FANS OF BTS MAKING HEART GESTURES AND GIVING THUMBS UP WHILE QUEUING PEOPLE MOVING IN QUEUE TO ENTER STORE (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 62-YEAR-OLD BTS FAN, LEE MYEONG-SOOK, SAYING: "There's so much (merchandise) in my daughter's room. It's full of it." LEE'S DAUGHTER: "I want to buy cushions, dolls, and badgesâ€¦" LEE: "I'm going to buy notepads and give them to my friends." PEOPLE MAKING HEART GESTURES AND GIVING THUMBS UP WHILE QUEUING (SOUNDBITE) (English) 25-YEAR-OLD BTS FAN FROM MASSACHUSETTS, REBECCA MOULD, SAYING: "I've been a fan for almost two years now. I'm hoping to buy whatever I can, whatever I like. I already have a lot, so whatever else there is. And what I like most about BTS is, I really like their music. I like their music videos. I think they're such a great band, they have such a good message. I've seen them in concert like two times already, they're amazing. One time I was really far away, one time I was really close, and they're amazing performance, super talented. I like their message so, yeah, I love BTS." NEON DECORATIONS INSIDE STORE / FANS QUEUING DOODLE READING (English): "BTS" (SOUNDBITE) (English) 23-YEAR-OLD BTS FAN FROM TEXAS, REEM, SAYING: "I've been a fan since April, since I went to their concert and I saw how talented they were. They're just really just fun and yeah, we're here to buy their jackets and have a good time, it's really fun. Check out the jacket, you know? So yeah." NEON SIGN READING (English): "#BTS_POPUP #HOUSE_OF_BTS" BTS CHARACTER FIGURINES VARIOUS OF GIRL TAKING SELFIES WITH BTS CHARACTER FIGURINES
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 08:56
- Keywords: BTS Christmas Kpop Seoul boyband fans goods marchandise
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA008BBC2JPJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In the early hours of a freezing Christmas Eve, 62-year-old Lee Myeong-sook queues up in Seoul's ritzy Gangnam area for a chance to buy a t-shirt, or maybe even a toothbrush, branded with the logo of K-Pop boyband BTS.
The rest of the district is all but deserted, but a huge line of fans of all ages and nationalities is building up around her outside the pop-up shop "House of BTS," dedicated to the seven-piece behind "Boy With Luv" and other hits.
K-Pop management agencies, including BTS' Big Hit Entertainment, have been expanding their retail operations to capitalize on a merchandising boom - this is the band's first outlet in Seoul with others popping up as far afield as Mexico.
"I want to buy some cushions, dolls, badges, things like that today, and notebooks to give to my friends," said Lee, who waited in line with her 35-year-old daughter.
Branded jackets sell for 299,000 won ($257) alongside socks, sleep masks and other merchandise linked to the band which has spearheaded a wave of Korean pop music and become the first group since the Beatles to have three number one albums in the United States in less than a year.
Analysts say demand for the gear is growing as the popularity of K-Pop bands spreads beyond the domestic market across other parts of Asia and into the West.
Japanese fans outside the store told Reuters they had flown in because the Gangnam store "had more stuff" than the three BTS stores in their own country. About 1,500 fans or more visited the store during a single day last week.
"I'm hoping to buy whatever I can," said Rebecca Mould, originally from the U.S. city of Boston, a BTS fan for about two years on her first visit to the store. "I already have a lot, so whatever else there is..."
(Production: Daewoung Kim, Heejung Jung)
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