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Tesco scores big with virtual grocery stores in subway stations in South Korea


New York City -- British retail giant Tesco Ltd. has broken new ground, creating virtual stores in subway stations in Seoul, South Korea, as a way to make grocery shopping more convenient for the city’s busy urban residents. Tesco launched the unique venture for its Homeplus chain, which operates 115 stores in South Korea. The virtual stores were created by Cheil Worldwide of Korea.

The product-less stores consist of photo images of grocery shelves and fresh and perishable food cases, which are designed to look just like those inside of a freestanding store. Shoppers walk up to the virtual store shelves, select what products they want to buy and then scan the product’s QR code with their smartphone. Once the QR code is scanned, the item goes into the shopper's online grocery cart. Once the shopping is completed, the shopper requests a time for the groceries to be delivered. Click here to watch a video of how the store was created.

According to reports, the virtual grocery store has attracted more than 10,000 new customers and boosted Home Plus’s online sales by 130%. Tesco's Homeplus is looking for other similar venues in South Korea to put the virtual stores.

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