Fresher food is latest gimmick from struggling retailers
Brick-and-mortar stores are doing what they can to stay in business as the world goes virtual.
Homeplus announced on Thursday it has partnered with Naver to sell its products. The internet company has upgraded its “shop from neighborhood service” to embrace wider types of retailers to sell their products on the portal site. Before, only goods from traditional markets were sold.
The updated Naver service, which became available starting Thursday, enables shoppers to purchase Homeplus products on Naver. This way, shoppers don’t have to log in or sign up on the Homeplus app. The retailer hopes to make its online service more accessible through its partnership with Naver.
Homeplus hopes to obtain 1.6 million new online customers annually and to earn an additional 10 percent in sales through the partnership.
To improve the online service, Homeplus plans to add facilities to handle online deliveries for all of its offline stores by 2021 while hiring a total of 4,000 pickers — employees who fulfill orders for online customers — by that year. It currently has 1,400 pickers. The retailer also plans to expand the number of temperature-controlled trucks from the current 1,000 to 3,000.
Homeplus aims to “swiftly supply products in a fresh state to customers from the nearest store,” said Song Seung-sun, the managing director of the mobile business unit at Homeplus.
Lotte Mart is targeting those in search of fresh groceries.
The chain announced on Thursday it will shorten the period that fresh food, including eggs and pork, are displayed on shelves.
After three-day pork — pork displayed on market shelves for a maximum of three days after slaughtered instead of the usual seven days — proved to be popular, Lotte Mart decided to expand the types of food that could be supplied in this way.
The retailer started selling day-old eggs in its branch in Jamsil, southern Seoul, last month. These eggs are now sold at 75 stores.
Rice and gim, or laver, will stay on shelves at Lotte Mart for a shorter period of time since their production.
“As the interest towards fresh and healthy food has increased, the demand for fresh food supplied by Lotte Mart has also risen,” said Kim Chang-yong, a spokesperson for Lotte Shopping in a statement. So the market “has expanded the categories from pork and eggs to rice and gim, and we plan to continuously offer fresh produce that consumers can trust.”
BY JIN MIN-JI [email@example.com]