​Convenience store chain GS25 launches on-foot grocery delivery service

By Park Sae-jin Posted : August 19, 2020, 11:32 Updated : August 19, 2020, 11:32

[Courtesy of GS Retail]

SEOUL -- GS25, a South Korean convenience store franchise, has launched a short-distance on-foot delivery service through Yogiyo, a major food delivery service app, to allow anyone aged over 18 to make deliveries for a fee of up to 3,200 won ($2.7) per run.

South Korea with more than 50,000 delivery workers that carry small parcels and food has a blooming food and grocery delivery market valued at 9.7 trillion won ($8.1 billion) as of 2019. Most deliveries are made using motorcycles while some deliverymen use bicycles or electric scooters. Delivery on foot is not common.

GS Retail, the operator of GS25, said in a statement on August 19 that it has officially launched "Wooridongnae Delivery" (My Town Delivery), an on-foot food and grocery delivery service that covers a radius of 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from a GS25 store. The franchise runs 13,899 stores nationwide as of November last year.

"Conventional delivery services took about an hour to complete a run as a deliveryman had to make multiple deliveries on a single run but our on-foot delivery service will be able to shorten the delivery time," a GS Retail official was quoted as saying. Customers can make delivery orders using Yogiyo, a popular food and grocery delivery app.

The on-foot delivery service allows any town dwellers aged over 18 to use a dedicated smartphone app for delivery. After a registration process, delivery orders will be assigned, with each run requiring deliverymen to travel a distance shorter than 1.5 km.

South Korea's food and grocery delivery market is growing rapidly thanks to a social distancing campaign triggered by a coronavirus pandemic. As consumers choose to eat at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, competition is fierce among food delivery service operators that seek to capture the hearts of consumers of all ages.

Yogiyo has partnered with CU, a domestic convenience store franchise, and GS25 while Baedal Minjok, South Korea's top food delivery service app, operates its own quick grocery service with logistics centers in each urban districts. They have launched one-hour delivery services to compete with Coupang, the Korean version of Amazon, and Market Kurly, an online overnight fresh grocery delivery service operator, which gained huge popularity at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic for their one-day and overnight grocery deliveries.

The pandemic prompted consumers to subscribe for regular deliveries of meal kits and Banchan, a collective term meaning Korean side dish menus including Kimchi and stir-fried anchovies. For an average monthly fee of about 10,000 won, customers are delivered weekly with easy-to-cook meal kits and Banchan.

According to a July survey of 1,374 people conducted by the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT), 52 percent used meal subscription services. People in their 40s were the age group with the highest subscription rate of 60.2 percent, followed by those in their 30s with 59 percent and those over 60 with 58.1 percent.
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