E-COMMERCE | Staff Reporter, Korea

South Korea's malls roll out services to compete with online platforms

Major discount store chains operate electric vehicle charging stations.

Brick-and-mortar malls in South Korea are introducing various new services, such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, currency exchange, and used phone purchases to compete with online shopping portals, Korea Bizwire reported.

Major discount store chain operator, including Lotte Mart, E-Mart, and Homeplus, all operate EV charging stations. Lotte Mart runs charging stations at 100 out of 113 outlets nationwide, whilst E-mart operates charging stations at 119 out of 141 stores.

E-Mart also offers a car-sharing service at 45 outlets through which customers can rent out a variety of cars. At 138 stores, it operates unmanned automated teller machines (ATMs) that automatically purchase used mobile phones.

At the same time, Homeplus offers an automated service at 20 outlets that estimates the price of a used car in five minutes. At three stores, the discount store chain operator runs a personal storage service for customers.

Korea Bizwire commented that offline malls are rolling out initiatives to stay competitive as online shopping portals have seen rapid growth ever since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, introducing services that only offline malls can offer.

“These services are helpful in attracting more customers. They lead to higher profits as many customers choose to shop for groceries as they wait to use other services,” E-Mart said.

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