Amazon and Hyundai team up on smart retail

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Amazon and Hyundai team up on smart retail

Hyundai Department Store partnered up with Amazon to develop next-generation brick-and-mortar stores, the first of which will open in Yeouido, western Seoul, in 2022.

Under a strategic collaboration agreement signed Monday, Hyundai and Amazon Web Services will work together on tasks like developing high-tech retail channels and an analysis system for consumer data.

Amazon Web Services is a subsidiary of the U.S. ecommerce giant and a global leader in the cloud service industry.

“The ultimate goal of this agreement is to come up with a next-generation retail model that applies the latest technology to various elements of operating a brick-and-mortar store, from merchandising the floor to managing customer service,” said Hyundai in a statement.

The first project both companies will work on is to jointly look at Amazon’s retail technology and find ways to adjust it to Hyundai’s local operations.

One goal is to open a cashier-less supermarket like Amazon Go. A core technology to achieve that will be a “Just walk out” system - a way of automatically receiving payment for goods from a customer as they leave the premises. Delivery drones, which Amazon calls Prime Air, and a system to guide consumers using artificial intelligence technology are also areas that the two will look into.

The new systems will be tested in Hyundai Department Store’s Yeouido branch due to open in the second half of 2022.

The site is currently under construction and is expected to be the largest department store in Seoul. The local retailer said Amazon will participate in designing a mid-term road map for the construction.

The new partnership will also integrate Amazon’s cloud service to Hyundai Department Store Group’s accumulated consumer data through its H-point membership card. Amazon Web Services already operates a cloud computing service for retailers, and Hyundai expects it will help in devising more personalized services based on Amazon’s analysis of consumer data and purchase patterns.

Amazon’s cloud service will also form the base of Hyundai’s virtual reality (VR) attractions and services.

The local retail group is developing a VR theme park which it aims to open this year. Amazon’s cloud will power its operation system. The two will also work on ways to use VR content in the retail experience like allowing customers to virtually try on clothes using Amazon’s Sumerian development platform.


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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