South Korea - News & Analysis

16 January 2020
GS25, a leading convenience store chain in South Korea, opened an unmanned store similar to Amazon Go. High-tech enabled store Located in Jung District, Seoul, the store is similar to Amazon Go that customers are able to purchase goods without being checked out by a cashier or using a self-checkout counter.   Shoppers enter the store by scanning a BC Paybook QR code from BC Card’s mobile...
08 January 2020
South Korea’s Emart, owned by Shinsegae, will close the store chain completely to focus on big-box retail business. Part of the restructuring plan Following the previous announcement of closing the Pierrot store in Seoul’s Myeongdong shopping district, Emart will shut down the remaining six branches completely this year. Opened in 2018, Pierrot Shopping is a virtual clone of Japan’...
08 January 2020
Unintended consequence of the minimum wage increase over the last two years. Simultaneous sales growth of cheap necessaries and luxury goods There is an emerging trend of polarised spending in the country, which saw high-income shoppers trading up to high-end and luxury goods, whilst the low-income shoppers are seeking to save on everyday items. Retailers like Emart and Lotte, shopping v...
08 January 2020
Shinsegae and Lotte are carrying out executive reshuffles to deal with declining profits and intensifying competition. Emart: names outsider as new CEO Shinsegae group has appointed Kang Heui-seok to replace CEO Lee Gap-su to turn around the chain's poor performance .  It is the first time in its 26 years’ history Emart has named an outsider as its new CEO.  " Emart's personnel resh...
13 December 2019
South Korean retail giant Emart is slimming down operations by closing unprofitable stores, including 18 Boots branches. A response to weak earnings The company logged KRW161bn in operating profit during the first three quarters, down by 60% from previous year. Whilst its hypermarkets and supermarkets are showing signs of recovery with improved same-store sales growth, specialty stores post...
19 November 2019
Emart, owned by South Korean retail conglomerate Shinsegae, is set to open its first private label store No Brand in the Philippines. First of the 25 stores to open The retailer said in a statement that it would open its first No Brand store in Manila on 22 nd November. The store is located inside Robinsons Galleria Ortigas, a business district in Metro Manila. No Brand offers good valu...
11 November 2019
In response to consumers’ increasing demand of healthy diets, operators of convenience stores in the country are expanding vegetarian ranges. Increasing demand for healthy consumption The number of vegetarians in Korea jumped from 150,000 in 2008 to 2 million last year, representing 3% of the total population. The number of vegans is around half a million. Meanwhile, vegetable consumption i...
04 November 2019
The duty-free arms of Shinsegae and Lotte have launched facial recognition payment technology at their stores in South Korea. After registration, Chinese customers can automatically settle payment by standing in front of a facial recognition camera, enabling shoppers to pay without cash, card, or a mobile phone. Shinsegae adds WeChat Pay facial recognition WeChat Pay facial recognition paym...
11 October 2019
CU convenience chain is preparing to accept cryptocurrency payments in South Korea. Offering shoppers another payment method Earlier This week, BGF Retail, parent firm of CU, partnered with Chai to allow buyers to pay by presenting a barcode from the Chai mobile app. CU will use the Chai payment system to trade in Terra, a won-backed stablecoin. There are more than 13,000 CU outlets acro...
25 September 2019
South Korea’s BGF Retail Co., the operator of convenience store chain CU, will open its first outlet in Vietnam by June 2020. Second offshore operations after Mongolia The retailer has signed a franchise agreement with a Vietnam-based convenience store operator backed by local companies. BGF Retail will share its brand and knowledge in operations, while the Vietnamese partner will be respon...