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Korean department stores diversify into food delivery services

South Korea’s major department stores – which have placed top priority on attracting customers to their stores – are now stepping into near-distance delivery services for food and beverage being sold at food courts and in-store restaurants.

They are expanding the scope of ‘dawn delivery’ and ‘free return’ services in collaboration with their affiliated online shopping malls, while launching into an area that has been dominated by food delivery platforms such as Coupang Eats and Baedal Minjok.

Shinsegae Department Store set up an exclusive parking zone and pickup desk for delivery motorbikes at its main branch and outlet in Gangnam, and launched food & beverage delivery service from last month.

The Gangnam outlet of Lotte Department Store launched a delivery service for neighboring residential apartment areas from September 2020, in collaboration with ebike delivery service company Kimzipsa.

In August 2020, the Trade Center outlet of Hyundai Department Store also rolled out a service offering delivery of prepared meals within a distance of 6km.

Industry experts suggest that the primary factor behind the offline-based department stores’ move to expand the scope of their services from dawn delivery to near-distance delivery is their desire to develop new income streams.

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