A Look at South Korea’s Virtual Supermarkets
Home plus is a South Korean/British discount retail chain with locations that usually feature a large supermarket. The chain’s latest initiative, a Virtual Supermarket implemented on Subway systems in populated areas, works to streamline the average citizen’s daily routine through the use of QR-code labeled advertising and smart phones.
In terms of size, Home plus is the second largest retailer in South Korea, and had recently been faced with its major competitor, E-mart, who has the upper hand in sheer number of locations throughout the region. Citing that Koreans were the second-hardest working group of people in the world, Home plus has setup display advertising in subway waiting zones that allow the general population to put in their grocery orders during the workday, and have them delivered to their doorstep by the time they get off work.
Most interesting in the entire process presented by Homeplus’ new Subway Virtual Store is the resulting re-imagining of a tangible shopping experience, in the midst of an increasingly expedited mobile society. The setup of the advertising mocks the aisles of the supermarket, but brings it to the end user, instead of waiting for the customer.
The result — changing waiting time, to shopping time.
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