SEOUL, July 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Once applauded as one of the most promising businesses, particularly for those preparing for the second chapter of life, mobile phone retail stores are on the wane.
The number of mobile phone retail stores nationwide, which stood at about 30,000 three years ago, is now estimated to have halved.
Under circumstances where the mobile phone market is already saturated, new retail culture centering on online sales has now become fashionable. Making things worse, the outbreak of the coronavirus dealt a heavy blow to mobile phone retail stores.
Based on its judgment that the nation’s mobile phone distribution network is in a serious crisis due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Korea Mobile Distributors Association is trying to get a glimpse of how many mobile phone retail stores have recently closed.
The number of mobile phone retail stores is now estimated at lower than 15,000 nationwide, industry sources said.
After falling sharply when the Law on the Improvement of the Mobile Terminal Distribution System took effect, the number of mobile phone retail stores decreased further starting from 2017 due to higher commission burdens.
The number of employees hired by mobile phone retail stores is also estimated to have declined by up to 75 percent.
In the past, mobile phone retail stores, together with convenience stores and fried chicken restaurants, were regarded as some of the most promising small businesses for retired people.
Mobile phone retail stores were highly profitable as mobile phones are must-have items with their replacement cycle being shorter than other home electronics items.
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