Korea Expat BLog

Convenience Store

Since the grue-some years since the Korean War : tiny vendors around the corner of each neighborhood was rightfully called “(small) hole store”, translated and mostly sought to buy cigarettes – where imports were illegal prior to developing years amounting to the first SEOUL Olympics in 1988 . it truely is amazing how an olympic game changes a nation – mostly to awake to international surroundings //

it was crampted and dirty with an old woman or elderly man at bay . the whole scene changed as South Korea prospered – along with the first real modern real-estate boom in GangNam formerly KangNam, rightfully translated from South of the (Han) River .


with a mix of neighboring Japanese and long-allied American influence : five conglomerate brand names amount for more than 90% of convenience stores throughout the Peninsula . CU, GS25, Seven-Eleven, Buy-The-Way and MiniStop in the order of most branches .

  1. CU was established by BGF Retail in August 2012,
  2. LG25 was the first convenience store franchise to open in South Korea way-back in December 1990 and since changed name to GS25 in March 2005, as GS Group split from LG Group . GS Group also introduced Hong Kong based Watson’s drug-store in 2005 .
  3. American Seven-Eleven expanded more after landing in Japan and Japanese operator iToyokado acquired Seven-Eleven in 1991 . Japanese and South Korean Lotte Group formed Korea-Seven and opened its first Seven-Eleven in 1989 . then Seven-Eleven bought Buy-The-Way in January 2010 and most name-plates have been changed to Seven-Eleven .
  4. Japanese MiniStop first opened in South Korea November 1990 in association with DaeSang Group .

although some do more than others, services aside from your usual products offered are : next-day delivery courier service pick-up and ship-out and ATM teller banking, while FAX is disappearing with the influx of SNS social network services .


convenience stores are a good place to use your cellular carrier accumulated points, as are movie theatres and family restaurants . younger student consumers move depending upon how many points can be accumulate and used .

one area Korean convenience stores have a long way to catch-up with neighboring Japanese is in lunch boxes, which is the same situation with those offered on out-of-city express trains . understandable as more in Japan seem to eat alone, also reflected in more place to have a quick break-fast before getting on the subway in Japan – while this is almost non-existant in South Korea -_-



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