Korean convenience stores enjoy revenue boost from rising visits by Japanese tourists

2019.06.18 12:17:18 | 2019.06.18 14:52:33

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Convenience stores in South Korea have become a must-visit place among Japanese travelers who are searching for hip Korean snacks, beverages and character goods, thanks to the revived Korean pop culture boom in Japan, especially among the young generation.

According to data compiled by convenience stores on Monday, the most popular items among Japanese travelers visiting Korea were character goods, yogurt jellies, and dried laver snacks at 7-Eleven stores, and pie snacks packaged in boxes like Orion’s Choco Pie at CU outlets.

They preferred Korea Yakult’s cold brew coffee beverages in collaboration with K-pop superstar BTS and other private-label products at GS25 locations.

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Binggrae Banana Flavored Milk and Honey Butter Almond are also among the must-try products by visitors from both Japan and China.

Products most frequently posted in Japanese on Instagram as of Sunday were Binggrae Banana Flavored Milk with 11,800 posts, Honey Butter Almond with 6,276 posts, Honey Butter Chip with 4,113 posts, Yogurt Jelly with 3,057 posts, Viyott yogurt with 598 posts, and Lotte Mallang Cow chewing candy with 561 posts.

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Retailers operating convenience stores in Korea expect a stable revenue growth at locations near tourist attractions, airports and stations. Korean snacks and goods have become popular among foreign tourists largely due to the growing popularity of Korea pop music and drama. Also the quality of Korean goods offered at convenience stores has much improved recently, and they have been introduced by a rising number of social media influencers across the globe.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization, young Japanese visitors to Korea are rising, with those under 20 up 66.5 percent and 20s up 58.7 percent on year in April. Of the total, female visitors rose 44.2 percent, and male visitors 23.5 percent.

By Lee Duk-joo and Lee Ha-yeon

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]