Virtual Grocery Stores Invade South Korea Subway Stations
Posted on December 26, 2013
Any company can wage multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns to keep customers coming. But no supermarket chain does it better online than Home Plus.
Formerly known as “Tesco,” South Korean-based store chain Home Plus recently launched its online-based supermarkets in subway stations in South Korea. But there are actually no tangible goods sold here. Instead, electronic panels project the products’ photos with their respective bar codes. And commuters, while waiting for the train, can use their smartphones like bar code readers to secure their online purchases. The products are then delivered right after the buyer arrives at the delivery address.
The innovative idea is part of Home Plus’s major business overhaul — which started off with the change of its company name from “Tesco” — to keep profits afloat amid stark competition in the country’s grocery store industry, in which the company came in second by a wide margin, according to Technology Review (via Laughing Squid).
With more than 10,000 customers signing up for purchases and with online sales up by 130 percent, Home Plus now claims the number one spot in online sales and also ranks second by a smaller margin from its major competitor in the entire South Korean grocery market.
In the United States, Amazon’s and Walmart’s plans to pursue the same trend are currently in the works. So expect your subway stations to light up with your favorite goods soon.