“If people don’t come to the store, let the store come to the people”.
Tesco’s virtual stores make shopping easier by bringing a practical answer to a real problem.
In August 2011, Tesco Homeplus in South Korea introduced the world’s first virtual store in the Seonreung subway station in downtown Seoul.
The walls of the subway stations come to life with virtual displays of over 500 of the most popular products with barcodes which passers-by can scan using the Homeplus app on smartphones and get it delivered to their home.
South- Koreans are the world’s second busiest people in terms of working hours so they’re not very keen grocery shoppers as they simply don’t have the time. The beauty of the innovative idea is giving busy commuters the opportunity to do their grocery shopping ‘on the go’.
While waiting for their transport, commuters can buy their groceries by scanning the barcode or QR displayed to each product, and providing the order was successfully placed before 13:00 their items will be delivered the same evening, to wherever they are.
In February this year, Tesco Homeplus expanded its ‘award-winning’ virtual stores to more than 20 bus stops in South Korea.
SH Lee, CEO at Tesco Homeplus said: “The growing trend in Smartphones in South Korea means that virtual grocery shopping is even more accessible and convenient than ever before. The first virtual store in the Seoul Subway was a great success with customers and has paved the way for the opening of these new stores at bus stops. We’ve found it most popular amongst 20 to 30 year olds, so the new stores will be opening close to a local university and other pedestrian areas.”
Is the Korean retailing industry still at the forefront of technological innovation? Who would use this kind of technology in the UK? Should they bring it to us too?