Bolstering mom-and-pop store in neighborhoods
Lately, convenience stores are growing explosively. In seven years, 15,594 stores have been added. The increase of convenience stores is a positive change as it expands consumers’ choices. However, in the process, local businesses are considerably hurt. In the same period, the number of small markets under 165 square meters (1,776 square feet) have decreased by 24,531, from 96,922 to 72,392.
As concerns for the so-called “super supermarkets (SSMs)” hurting local supermarket businesses in the late 2000s, the government created the “Nadeul Store” brand in 2010 to revive the local stores and designated 10,000 shops in three years. Instead of converting to a convenience store, which requires high facility cost and license fee, the local shops get to have their own brands for enhanced competitiveness. Thanks to the program, local supermarkets’ shopping conditions and service levels improved to a certain degree. Thanks to these efforts, consumer awareness improved, and the local stores now have the foundation to survive and grow on their own.
The local stores need opportunities to establish a more stable business environment on the healthier foundation. The ten-day event in September “Market in Our Neighborhood! Nadeul Store Joint Sale” was such an occasion. It is inspiring that the National Association of Nadeul Stores recognized the importance of autonomous cooperation model and proposed the idea to the government first. And the result was admirable. Analysis on 331 stores whose POS records are confirmed among the Nadeul Stores and local shops participated in the ten-day event, the average revenue per store increased by 450,000 won and 52 more customers visited daily. The increase in revenue and customers is great news during the event, but it is even better that the increase in revenue was not temporary. After the event, the revenue grew by 520,000 won compared to last year. It is an impressive example of public-private cooperation.
However, we must not be complacent with the results of the sale event. For sustainable support for businesses, the Nadeul Stores need to take deep and strong root in the local community. Considering the limited business sphere of the Nadeul stores and local supermarkets, they target local customers and grow and coexist with the local economy. From now on, the role of the local autonomous government bodies is crucial.
By Nam Yoon-hyung, Researcher at Korea Small Business Institute