Traditional grocery retailers keep decreasing, due to the rapid growth of modern grocery retailers and online grocery retailing. As many modern grocery retailers are under several large retailing giants in South Korea, which can adapt to the latest trends and release new marketing campaigns such as loyalty membership programmes and discount promotions due to sufficient resources from mother groups, traditional grocery retailers are losing competitiveness against modern grocery retailers.
Since traditional grocery retailers are threatened by the expansion of the modern grocery retailers and rapid increasing of internet retailing, the South Korean government is trying to limit the operating hours of modern grocery retailers and opening of the new outlets operated by large companies. The government already regulates the days of operation for supermarkets and hypermarkets that are owned by large retailing companies.
However, regardless of the government effort, sales and number of outlets of traditional grocery retailers are constantly decreasing. Whilst the association representing small grocery retailers has complained and protested against the increase in the number of modern grocery retailers in South Korea, South Korean consumers still find modern grocery retailers much more attractive due to various promotions and loyalty programmes.
As modern grocery retailers are expanding the wine corner in their outlets and consumers can shop for wine and spirits whilst they are doing grocery shopping, wine and drink specialist retailers such as Winenara and Kaja & Wine keep being threatened by modern grocery retailers.
Seoul city government is planning to launch a mobile simple payment platform based on the QR code payment system to benefit small and independent business. Since South Korea consumers mostly use financial cards rather than cash in daily life, smaller retailers are suffering from the high fee that financial cards companies charge.
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