GS25 to launch electronic services

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GS25 to launch electronic services

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Convenience store chain GS25 will install a multiuse machine that can handle printing and faxes in 12 of its stores in Seoul and Daejeon. Provided by the company

The range of services offered by convenience stores is expanding well beyond the traditional role of selling snacks and drinks, due to stiff competition from emerging e-commerce businesses and consumer demand for one-stop shopping.

GS25 has started installing electronic kiosks that functions as a copy and fax machine. It also allows users to print a copy of their Toeic exam score or their resident registration document.

The convenience store chain said that it will launch the service at 10 stores in university neighborhoods by mid-April. The new kiosk service is already operating at two GS25 branches near Konkuk University and Sungkyunkwan University after it was successfully tested in November. The other 10 stores that will get a kiosk are in Seoul and Daejeon.

But the company said that it will steadily expand the kiosk service nationwide.

“For now, only some convenience stores in Seoul and Daejeon will have the machine,” said a representative of GS25. “But it will be installed at more branches across the country in the following months.”

GS25 said it has partnered with Samsung Electronics and Korea Rental to operate the kiosks.

The retailer plans to improve the service to meet consumers’ diverse needs.

The chain is also working to develop a smartphone application that lets users print photos taken on their phones at GS25 convenience stores.

“We think the kiosk service could open a lot of doors,” said Lee Woo-seong, a director at GS25. “We are going to provide new functions going forward, such as reloading a transportation card or allowing users to customize a photo album.”

Rival chain 7-Eleven is leaning toward more health and safety services.

The chain began operating a free blood pressure measurement machine in 100 stores in areas with a high population of elderly residents.

Seven-Eleven also has an emergency security hotline at 200 of its stores. Women can enter into the branch and use the emergency call service at the front if they feel threatened.

Convenience store chains have also started selling products usually sold at large retail chains.

Last year, GS25 started selling televisions, water purifiers, bidets and smartphones.

Customers can purchase household appliances after looking through catalogs, with miniature versions of the products on display at the shops, the mini-mart chain said. The product is then delivered to the buyer’s home, according to GS25.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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