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Convenience store market surpasses 20 trillion won

All Headlines 09:49 April 04, 2017

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- The market size for convenience stores surpassed 20 trillion won (US$17.95 billion) in 2016, industry data showed Tuesday, doubling in five years as the number of single households increases.

According to the Korea Association of Convenience Store Industry, total sales at convenience stores came to 20.4 trillion won last year, up 18.6 percent from 17.2 trillion won the year before. The market size had doubled from 10 trillion won in 2011.

South Korea had 32,611 convenience stores throughout the country as of the end of last year, up 12.5 percent from 2015, the data showed.

7-Eleven opened in southern Seoul in May 1989 as the country's first convenience store. The market growth of convenience stores was modest until it turned explosive in 2015 with a 24.6 percent increase, compared with 7.8 percent in 2014. It was the only double-digit expansion in the retail industry.

Government statistics show fast growth of single-person households and an aging society, creating demand for short distance, small portion shopping and quick foods that are best found at convenience stores. The industry has also evolved successfully, adding a wide range of services like parcel deliveries and developing store brand quality foods and products to entice customers.

Industry officials say there is room for more market growth, drawing comparisons from Japan, where the volume of per-store sales is four time more than that of South Korea. Japan has some 55,600 convenience stores.

Convenience store market surpasses 20 trillion won - 1


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