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Korean c-store operators double down on specialty stores

(Source: Korea Bizwire)

South Korean convenience store chains are placing a bigger focus on developing specialty stores aimed at attracting more customers by providing them with distinguished and special consumption experiences.

GS25, for instance, currently operates four types of flagship stores, including café-type stores, liquor-centered stores and finance-specialized stores.

The liquor-centered store established in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province in March is furnished with 1,000 different types of liquor, including 600 different types of wine and 300 different types of western liquor.

Alcoholic beverages account for about 65 percent of the store’s total sales.

When it comes to stores in the trendy Hongdae neighborhood in Seoul and a cafe street called Haengridan-gil in Suwon that operate a special section dedicated to meal kit brand Cookat, sales of refrigerated foods are about 13 times higher than the average at other stores.

CU is also running two liquor-specialized stores where sales of wine and imported liquor are about 8.8 times and 12.6 times higher, respectively, than at other stores.

The finance-specialized store that CU established in collaboration with major lender Hana Bank also saw its sales increase by about 20 percent.

7-Eleven opened a “Wine Studio” in Gangnam neighborhood in Seoul at the end of last year. With the second floor offering a variety of liquors, the store sells about 300 different types of wine, champagne, whisky and traditional liquor.

E-Mart24 also recently opened a new concept store, one-third of which is packed with a variety of types of liquor and side dishes, in the eastern Gangdong district.

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