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Convenience stores are emerging as new ‘centres of everyday life’

South Korean convenience stores

Amid the increase in the number of consumers who refrain from going far away from their homes due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the variety of services offered by South Korean convenience stores is growing fast.

Convenience-store chain CU saw the use of its parcel-delivery service rise by 23.6 per cent in the September quarter of this year compared to a year ago, while the use of its ATM services grew by 8.8 per cent year on year.

And, the use of the company’s multifunction printers that encompass printing, copying, faxing and scanning jumped by 182.5 per cent year on year.

With growing consumer interest in convenient services, an increasing number of convenience stores are introducing a variety of unusual options.

GS25, for example, started providing a payment gateway for about 50 online shopping malls, targeting teenagers without bank accounts or credit cards who have difficulty making online payments.

If shoppers at online malls select the ‘GS25 convenience store payment’ as a payment method, a barcode is sent to their mobile phones.

They can complete payments at online malls if they show the barcode and pay the amount in cash at GS25 convenience stores.

Rival chain 7-Eleven launched a discount sales service for about 330 items with a short shelf life, including lunch box and dairy products. Customers can buy such items at a discounted prices through the mobile application Last Order.

7-Eleven also joined hands with the US delivery firm FedEx to launch an overseas document-delivery service.

Customers can enjoy this service simply by taking the document to be sent to a 7-Eleven store after submitting an application for document delivery through the FedEx website.

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