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Seoul’s street vendor and shoe repair stalls are disappearing

(Source: Korea Bizwire)

Street vendor and shoe repair stalls, which used to dot the sidewalks of downtown Seoul, are now disappearing along with the change of the times.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the number of street vendor stalls and shoe repair stalls operating in downtown as of December stood at 1552, down 119 from a year ago.

This represents a decline of about 40 per cent or 998 compared to 10 years ago.

The number of street vendor stalls declined by 47.8 per cent to 670 in 2021 from 1284 in 2011, while the number of shoe repair stalls fell by 30.3 per cent from 1266 to 882 during the same period.

According to the city government’s analysis on the operation state of such facilities, there were 46 stalls that suspended operations due to disappointing sales, with 38.6 per cent of these stalls citing sluggish sales as the primary reason.

Amid the ever-increasing number of convenience stores around downtown Seoul, such stalls have suffered a steady decline in the number of customers primarily because they tend not to accept credit or debit cards.

In addition, their business has also been hit hard by the decline in the floating population resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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