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CU retakes top spot in Korean discount-store rankings

CU has recaptured its position as South Korea’s largest convenience-store network last year, after losing the title in 2019.

CU, operated by BGF Retail, had 14,923 outlets across the nation as at the end of last year, 1046 more than the previous year making it the largest network among local industry players, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service and industry sources.

GS25, the convenience arm of major retailer GS Retail, came second with 14,688 outlets nationwide, up 770 from a year earlier.

GS25 became the leading convenience store chain in Asia’s fourth-largest economy with 13,918 stores in 2019, relegating CU to the runner-up position for the first time in 17 years.

7-Eleven ranked third with 10,501 outlets last year, up from 10,016 a year earlier, followed by Emart24 with 5165, up from 4485.

Outlets operated by the top four industry players account for nearly 90 per cent of convenience stores nationwide, according to industry sources.

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