On-foot delivery booms as convenience stores adapt
Convenience stores are scrambling to manage the higher demand for delivery and at the same time meet new government requirements designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.
GS Retail expanded on-foot delivery service nationwide on Monday.
More people than expected signed up to offer the service. In the 12 days since the program was first introduced, 5,300 people registered to deliver convenience-store products to nearby customers by foot.
Anyone can sign up to deliver products in their area through an app with a name that roughly translates to "our neighborhood delivery."
Of those who signed up, 72 percent were men, 28 percent were women, 40.6 percent were in their 30s, 27.7 percent in their 40s, and 20.9 percent in their 20s.
Demand for on-foot delivery was highest in Gwanak District, Gangnam District and Dongjak District, all in southern Seoul.
Demand for delivery at GS25 surged 88.2 percent from Aug. 17 through Aug. 28 compared to the same period last month.
"The recent resurgence of Covid-19 is seen to have contributed to a boost in the popularity of the on-foot delivery service, with alcohol sales leading," said Kim Ha-yan, a spokesperson for GS Retail.
CU reported a 76.4 percent jump in deliveries from Aug. 17 through Aug. 28 compared to the same period the previous month.
Following the increased demand for orders, CU partnered with a mobile platform that connects store operators with part-time workers to help manage a floating workforce.
The service matches the convenience store employer with part-timers based on their previous job experience. The part-timers can work as little as an hour or as long as three months.
CU expects the partnership to help store operators quickly hire workers, increasing the efficiency. The company notes that hiring can be a challenge around the harvest holidays and the start of the new semester.
GS25 will be stopping people from sitting at picnic tables in front of its stores in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. The prohibition will last through Sunday, Sept. 6. The decision follows the government's imposition of stricter regulations aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19.
The tougher rules have been in effect since Sunday, Aug. 30.
GS25 made the decision as the number of people eating at tables in front of the stores increased as they cannot dine in at restaurants during those hours.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]