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article image'Virtual shopping' trial a success at subway station in Seoul

By Christopher Bates     Aug 4, 2011 in Business
Seoul - Fancy shopping from a subway station? Well the concept isn't too far off the West, after UK supermarket Tesco recently trialed the idea in Seoul, South Korea.
As the video below mentions, "Koreans are the second most hardworking people in the world," which led Home Plus - Tesco and Samsung's joint venture - to take the 'store' to the people.
While the Korean's busy work-oriented lifestyle takes first priority, it gives them little time to shop, allowing Home Plus to capitalize on their frequent visits to subway stations.
The 'virtual supermarket' consists of several posters - displaying pictures of everyday products - pasted onto platform walls.
With the help of Quick Response (QR) codes, customers are able to scan the products - which are later delivered to their home address - using their smartphones.
After last month's successful trial at Hangangjin Station in Seoul, the concept is now being extended to numerous subway stations in the city, as extra trails are due to commence next month.
Irene Lam of Cheil Worldwide, the global marketing agency who helped develop the store, said: "In Seoul, everyone is glued to their smartphones. Online shopping is a given and everyone is extremely busy, working very long hours. So this concept absolutely made sense."
According to the result of a poll by advertising agency Leo Burnett - which questioned 2,000 shoppers - 59% still prefer bricks-and-mortar shopping.
The Grocer magazine added: "If it takes off - and given its "best of both worlds" blend of the online and bricks-and-mortar shopping experience, there is every reason to think it will - it will revolutionise the way we shop."
The 'stores' are expected to spread across South Korea within two years, while UK expansion plans are also in the pipeline.
More about Subway stations, Train, Tesco, Home Plus, Seoul
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