Official Pyeongchang 2018 merchandise stores have been opened in South Korea ©Pyeongchang 2018

Pyeongchang 2018 has opened official merchandise stores across various parts of South Korea.

A ceremony has been held at a store in Gangwon Province, where 50 licensed products are now on sale.

Official stores can also be found in Seoul and the southernmost city of Busan but the amount of shops is expected to increase as the Games get closer.

Shops are due to be open from 11:00am to 8pm every day until March 20, two days after the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games is due to take place.

Organisers have revealed plans to open 30 extra stores in the coming weeks.

An online store will also be launched and official products will be available across 900 tax-free stores by February 2018 when the Olympics are scheduled to begin.

"We officially open the first official store to sell the licensed products in the Gangwon area," said Pyeongchang 2018 President Lee Hee-Beom. 

"The Organising Committee will do its best to create a nationwide boom by expanding our nationwide distribution network."

The public will be able to buy official merchandise such as mascots ©Getty Images
The public will be able to buy official merchandise such as mascots ©Getty Images

Fears have been raised about the level of promotion done by Pyeongchang 2018 in the build-up to the Games.

It was revealed earlier this month that only 22.7 per cent of tickets available for next year's Winter Olympics had been purchased so far, with less than five months to go until the Opening Ceremony.

This figure is thought to mark the lowest in recent Winter Olympic Games history at this stage of preparations.

It was announced earlier this week that the Korea Federation of Banks will buy ₩1 billion (£650,000/$872,000/€740,000) worth of tickets to show support amid dismal sales figures so far.

As of September 6, only 4.85 per cent of tickets had been sold in South Korea, even though it was forecast that the host nation will account for 70 per cent of the overall total.

The remainder sold so far have been bought by authorised ticket resellers for international purchase - so are not necessarily yet in the hands of clients planning to attend the Games.