Virtual grocery stores in South Korea’s subways

Listen:

In South Korea, one of the world’s most “connected” countries, people often use their smartphones to make purchases, pay for taxis, and access public transportation. Now, residents of the capital city Seoul can buy groceries instantly from their phones while waiting for the subway or bus.

Giant posters have been installed in two subway stations and twenty bus stops, with lifelike pictures of the food exactly as it appears in the store. Customers scan each item’s code with their smartphones in order to add it to their virtual shopping cart. Then, with a single click of the “buy now” button, the payment is deducted from the customer’s bank account and the items are delivered directly to their home within a few hours.

The company behind these virtual storefronts is the British chain Tesco, which is known as Homeplus in South Korea. Currently the second-biggest grocery store in the country, Homeplus wanted to increase sales without opening more stores. Noticing that many Koreans work hard and are often pressed for time, Homeplus created the virtual stores to make buying household staples more convenient. The central philosophy is to “Let the stores come to the people.”

Despite being in the pilot phase, the virtual stores have enjoyed great success. So far, over 10,000 people have visited Homeplus’ website and online sales have grown 130%.

 

[important]

Vocabulary

make purchases = buy things

groceries = food you buy at the supermarket

posters = big pieces of paper with pictures

lifelike pictures = pictures that look very similar to the real things

deducted = to take away (often used when talking about money)

pressed for time = in a hurry, not having enough time

household staples = basic/essential items for the house

pilot phase = a time of testing with a small number of products or locations

[/important]

 

Virtual grocery stores in South Korea - True or False Quiz

Congratulations - you have completed Virtual grocery stores in South Korea - True or False Quiz. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
The "virtual stores" in the subways and bus stops sell food.
A
True
B
False
Question 2
Customers can shop at the "virtual stores" while riding in a taxi.
A
True
B
False
Question 3
Customers need to call the store to complete their orders.
A
True
B
False
Question 4
Payment is made electronically.
A
True
B
False
Question 5
Customers receive the items at their houses.
A
True
B
False
Question 6
Tesco/Homeplus is not the biggest grocery store in South Korea.
A
True
B
False
Question 7
Koreans generally have lots of free time for shopping.
A
True
B
False
Question 8
There are now "virtual grocery stores" all over the country.
A
True
B
False
Question 9
The "virtual store" program has been beneficial for Homeplus.
A
True
B
False
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect. Get Results
There are 9 questions to complete.

Related lessons: