SEOUL, June 4 (Korea Bizwire) — BGF Co., the investment unit of South Korea’s largest convenience store chain CU, said Monday that it has joined forces with a SK Group affiliate to better tap into the fast growing online grocery sector.
The convenience store operator said it inked an agreement to buy new stocks of SK Planet Co.’s subsidiary Hello Nature Co., which runs an online grocery shopping platform.
Under the agreement, BGF will take part in the recapitalization of Hello Nature with 30 billion won (US$28 million) and run the company as a joint venture.
Founded in 2012, Hello Nature was wholly purchased by SK Planet in December 2016. Its sales rose from 2.15 billion won in 2015 to 10.6 billion won in 2017, according to BGF.
“The online premium grocery shopping market is a blue ocean which has been growing rapidly every year,” BGF chief Lee Keon-jun said, vowing to raise Hello Nature into the industry leader within the next five years.
Demand for delivery services for fresh food via online channels has been sharply increasing in the country, backed by the growing number of one-person households.
According to government data, the number of single-member households reached 5.28 million in 2016, accounting for 27.8 percent of all household types in the country.