SEOUL, July 2 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of restaurants, bars and coffee shops that have closed this year in downtown Seoul areas such as Gangnam and Jongro has risen sharply due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
According to an analysis of the Seoul Open Data Square’s data on the current state of food and beverage businesses in Seoul, the districts of Gangnam, Jongro and Jung saw the number of such businesses closed during the January to June period of this year reach 4,219, up 19.8 percent from 3,522 a year ago.
This growth rate is more than double the rate from a year ago, when the number of food and beverage businesses closed in the first half was up 9.6 percent from the year prior.
Food and beverage businesses refers primarily to restaurants, bars, cafes and convenience stores. This type of business tends to have low barriers to entry, thereby attracting many self-employed people.
Among the self-employed people engaged in these types of businesses, the number who gave up their business or moved to other areas without renewing lease contracts with property owners appears to have increased due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
By area, the number of food and beverage businesses which shut down in Gangnam stood at 2,757 in the first half of this year, up 29.9 percent from 2,123 a year ago.
In the Jongro area, the number of food and beverage businesses which closed in the first half of this year totaled 584, up 27.2 percent from 459 a year ago.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)