Online shopping, food delivery in boom as Koreans stay away from crowds

2020.02.03 14:24:12 | 2020.02.03 15:46:17

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The spread of a new epidemic is keeping Koreans at home, prompting a rise in online shopping and food deliveries.

Korea’s No. 1 ecommerce operator Gmarket reported Sunday that sales of take-out single-portion meal boxes surged more than eightfold after the Lunar New Holiday on Jan. 28-29 compared with the comparable period last year.

Instant rice sales climbed 21 percent, fried rice and rice cups 16 percent, porridge 28 percent, and instant soup and stew 13 percent during the same period, it added. Sales of bottled water rose 54 percent and instant noodles 12 percent.

Demand for alcohol side dishes also increased as more people preferred to drink at home. Sales of beef jerky jumped 53 percent, with pork slices and feet also up 50 percent. Soju glasses enjoyed a 95 percent sales bump.

At 11st street, another local ecommerce platform, sales of core necessities more than doubled on Jan.27-Feb. 1 from the same period a month ago. Fresh food sales rose 46 percent and processed food 53 percent. Sales of face masks shot up 373 times and hand sanitizer 68 times. Sanitized tissues saw sales jump fourfold and protective goggles sevenfold. Health food like red ginseng, which is known to boost immune levels, also reported a 73 percent rise in sales.

Sales of readymade food, frozen food and fresh food have jumped nearly 12 times from the previous month, 11st street said.

Another ecommerce giant Coupang saw the number of its next-day Rocket Delivery orders hit a record 3.3 million on Jan. 28, more than double its January daily average last year of 1.7 million. Its early morning delivery service was delayed for up to two hours on Feb. 2 due to a spike in orders.

The company said it would work to restock the masks and hand sanitizers that have sold out, and ship them free of charge to customers whose orders have been canceled.

By Pulse

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