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Convenience stores find new customers with coffee, desserts

All News 10:11 July 15, 2016

SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- Convenience stores are gaining a big customer base through cafe-style coffee and bakeries that are cheaper in price but satisfactory in quality, industry officials said Friday.

The industry's leading chain CU said its January-June sales of brewed coffee were up 64.2 percent from the same period last year. The sales of baked goods, made in the store's own oven, increased 12.6 percent, and that for cakes and other desserts jumped 92.1 percent, it said.

Seven Eleven reported a 306.2-percent leap in sales of its own brand of brewed coffee over the same period. Its bakery sales increased 13.1 percent.

Their coffee popularity apparently led to an overall increase in dessert sales. At Seven Eleven, sales of premium ice cream such as Natuur and Haagen-Dazs were up 17.5 percent.

A majority of the coffee sold at convenience stores is one-third the price of the same menu at gourmet brand shops, but customer reviews have been favorable about their quality.

CU plans to have 3,500 stores sell brewed coffee by the end of this year, up from the current 2,000. Seven Eleven said it will increase the number of coffee-selling stores to up to 4,500 this year from the present 3,000.

"The type of purchases and consumption trend of convenience store customers have become varied, and that is broadening the range of selling products for quick foods," Kim Jung-hoon, who oversees the instant foods department of BGF Retail, the operator of the CU chain, said. "We hope to market products and services that maximize on convenience and speed that are key characteristics of convenience stores."


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