SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean convenience stores are branching out into new fields as sales of cosmetics and pet products continue to increase.
Nearly 95 percent of the products sold at convenience stores are food and beverages, according to industry sources, but an increasing number of convenience store chains are expanding their offerings in a move to attract new customers.
According to figures provided by CU, the sales of non-food products excluding cigarettes have been on a steady rise at the leading convenience store chain over the last five years, with the figure staying in the single digits in 2013 and 2014 before jumping to 25.3 percent last year.
When broken down by items, the sales of cosmetic products have enjoyed significant growth, from 6.6 percent in 2014 and 13.3 percent in 2016 to 18.5 percent in 2017.
Over the same period, pet products also saw a boost in sales, from 30.3 percent in 2015 to 55.4 percent last year, on the back of the country’s growing pet ownership.
Experts say the rapid sales increase of both cosmetics and pet products reflect current consumer preferences that center on speed and convenience, as an increasing number of people buy a wide range of items at convenience stores instead of traveling to supermarkets and other types of shops.
Against this backdrop, major convenience stores are seizing the opportunity, with some launching collaboration projects with cosmetic brands to ramp up sales efforts at busy locations.
GS25 has launched Lovey Buddy, a low-end cosmetic brand in collaboration with Tony Moly, while 7-Eleven has introduced skincare products for men with L’Oreal.
CU has collaborated with a number of cosmetic brands including Etude House and Holika Holika, releasing beauty products at select locations in busy districts in a move to target young female consumers.
In addition, the convenience store chain has also launched pet product brand Howlgo, with a space named ‘CU Pet House’ dedicated to the sale of pet-friendly products.
“More consumers are buying non-food products out of instant need at easily accessed convenience stores. With a variety of brands teaming up, the market is on course for growth,” a CU official said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)