Hyundai and Amazon plan next-gen retail model

Hyundai and Amazon plan to develop a “next-generation” retail model amid South Korean retailers’ push to adopt the latest technology to their online and offline platforms.

Under the strategic collaboration agreement with Amazon Web Service (AWS) Korea signed on Friday, Hyundai Department Store Group said it will also establish a system to analyse customer activity and expand the partnership between its information technology arm and AWS, the US retail giant’s cloud-computing platform.

Their joint research will focus on developing the Korean version of Amazon Go – the US e-commerce firm’s checkout-free offline mall – as well as using drones to deliver food and beverages, and applying artificial intelligence technology for automated concierge service, according to Hyundai.

The Korean retailer’s aim is to implement Amazon’s cutting-edge technologies to its department store set to open in Yeouido, Seoul’s financial district, in 2020.

“We will partner with Amazon to find a medium- and long-term roadmap to provide a new shopping experience to our customers,” a company official said.

The deal was made as South Korean retailers are moving to secure competitiveness through the use of new technologies.

Last Friday, E-Mart Everyday, another major South Korean retailer and Shinsegae’s supermarket-chain operator, opened a “cashier-less” store in Seoul where customers can pay via the firm’s mobile payment service app without going through a checkout counter.

The 212sqm Gangnam store is expected to increase the company’s competitiveness in the market, allowing customers to use Shinsegae’s SSG Pay mobile payment system to make their purchases. It is the latest in a series of technological advances made by the company, including electronic price labeling and the use of robotic concierges and autonomous shopping carts.

The new store will include a self-checkout counter as an alternative to using the app, and a cashier for age-verification sales of alcohol and tobacco products.





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