Tesco Opens Virtual Grocery Store in South Korea Subway Station

Most commuters hate waiting around at the subway station, and grocery shopping is also something for which busy people have little patience. In an effort to minimize these common inconveniences and obtain a bigger piece of the South Korean grocery market, Tesco, a European grocery chain, opened a virtual supermarket in a South Korea subway station. 

It works like this: commuters browse pictures of various grocery items plastered on the walls of the subway station and when they see something they like they scan the QR code with a smart phone. Scanning the code automatically adds the item to a virtual shopping cart and when the commuter is ready to checkout he or she simply pays for the goods via their phone and the items will be delivered to the shopper’s home by the end of the day. Voila! No more idle time at the subway station and no more inconvenient trips to the grocery store.

So how did the virtual grocery store perform? According to a video from Tesco (below), the chain saw the number of new registered members rise 76%, online sales increased 130%, and the company is now number one in the South Korean online grocery market. Not bad.

Would this idea ever work in North America or Europe? Perhaps. However, as Gizmodo’s Casey Chan points out the virtual store depends on reliable cell phone signals in underground tunnels and in the US, at least, reliable cell phone signals are just not a reality. Plus, our subway stations are much dirtier and not exactly conducive to shopping for food.

Would you buy groceries from a virtual grocery store located in the subway?

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Categories: Gadgets and Gizmos

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