Convenience stores try to eliminate human interactions
Convenience stores are looking for new ways to reduce human contact and make shopping more safe.
BGF Retail’s CU convenience store franchise is among the latest company to expand the effort.
Starting next month, CU convenience stores will offer a kind of drive-through service, announced parent company BGF Retail on Thursday.
CU has teamed up with the Owin mobility app to offer the service.
To use it, customers will place an order on the Owin app, specifying a certain CU store. Once they reach the store, an employee will come out to hand over the merchandise.
The customer can set an estimated arrival time at the store.
CU employees will be able to check the location of customers as they get nearer to the store.
Currently, Owin offers a similar advance warning service for restaurants and gas stations.
“The partnership with Owin is designed to minimize human contact for our customers as the demand for contactless service rises,” said Kim Seong-mo, a spokesperson for BGF Retail.
CU said the number of orders for deliveries has skyrocketed more than 80 percent from Aug. 17 through Aug. 31 compared to the same period the previous month.
CU rival GS25 started offering on-foot deliveries last month.
Anyone can deliver products on foot from a GS25 to a location within 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) for a payment from GS Retail.
GS25 also recently expanded late night delivery services to 2,000 out of its 3,900 stores nationwide. Customers can place orders online up to 1 a.m. The delivery hours differ depending on branches.
GS25 said late-night deliveries now account for 30.4 percent of all deliveries.
BY JIN MIN-JI [email@example.com]