CU gets into online retail and delivery
CU convenience stores are taking on e-commerce operators and giant retailers by allowing customers to buy more things from an app -- and delivering them to their doors for free.
BGF Retail, the operator of the CU franchise, said Thursday it will start selling a limited range of products via an app and deliver them within two days.
Exact delivery times will depend on the type of product.
The service is scheduled to kick off on Aug. 2.
Forty types of products are available, including ice cream, kimchi and peaches, in quantities more commonly seen in supermarkets rather than convenience stores.
As examples, 4.5 kilograms of peaches will initially be offered for 17,500 won ($15), and 5 kilograms of dragon fruit for 29,000 won.
“People have traditionally bought small quantities of goods at convenience stores,” said BGF Retail in a statement. The company said it is “challenging e-commerce companies and giant retailers” with the new service.
BGF Retail will function as a middleman between customers and suppliers.
Customers can place an order for items on the convenience store’s mobile app.
Vendors that partner with CU send the products directly to customers.
CU plans to change the products being offered every month.
BGF Retail acknowledged that boundaries among different types of retailers are crumbling, and customers want more "contactless" shopping as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company is responding to expansion of so-called quick commerce services by other companies such as delivery companies Baedal Minjok and Coupang Eats.
“CU has around 16 million members,” said Jin Young-ho, a spokesperson for BGF Retail. “CU will offer a more convenient and reasonable shopping opportunity.”
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]