GS25 stores will sell appliances
Convenience store chains led by GS25 are beginning to experiment with a range of products formerly reserved for large retail chains.
GS25, the country’s second-largest corner store company, said yesterday it will start selling televisions, water purifiers, bidets and smartphones starting this week.
Customers can purchase household appliances after looking in catalogs and miniature versions of the products on display at the shops, GS25 said. A barcode in the catalog will be scanned for the item being purchased, then GS25 will deliver it to the buyer’s home.
“This move reflects the evolving trends of the retail industry,” said a representative of the chain.
“Customers increasingly want to order products anywhere, anytime,” the representative said. “So far, convenience stores have satisfied the need, but there have been limitations to the scope of products available. The new service will fix the limitation.”
The brochure at the store will contain basic specifications of the appliances, prices and details on after-sales services.
The new service reflects the retail chain’s attempt to diversify its products.
GS25 also started selling altteul phones yesterday under the mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) service, which has monthly fees up to 47 percent cheaper than the three major service providers.
Thrifty phones are already being sold at the nation’s largest discount store chain E-Mart, Homeplus, convenience store chain 7-Eleven and branches of the Korea Post.
MVNOs are cheaper because the phone operators rent telecommunication frequencies from other telecom companies.
GS25 said that its distribution channels will make the price of the phones and appliances cheaper than delivery from other stores.
“We learned that customers are open to a wide range of products,” said Lee Seong-soo, director of the merchandise development division at GS Retail, which operates the corner stores. “[Our delivery method] will appeal to customers because the prices are cheaper. The distribution channel enabled us to eliminate advertising fees.
“We are considering expanding to include other services and products that aren’t typically sold at convenience stores.”
Other mini-marts are also trying their hand at novel goods.
Some 7-Eleven stores will begin selling flowers for 5,000 won ($4.78) to 10,000 won this month to target young consumers who might want to decorate their rooms.
7-Eleven said that 50 of its stores will sell flowers by the end of the year.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]