Tesco opens worlds first virtual store

Tesco Homeplus in South Korea is opening the world’s first virtual store today in the Seoul subway to help time-pressed commuters shop on the go using their smartphones.

Tesco Homeplus in South Korea is opening the world’s first virtual store today in the Seoul subway to help time-pressed commuters shop on the go using their smartphones.

The walls of the Seonreung subway station in downtown Seoul came to life today with virtual displays of over 500 of the most popular products with barcodes which customers can scan using the Homeplus app on their smartphones and get delivered right to their doorstep.

The beauty of the idea is that busy commuters can scan their groceries on their way to work in the morning and, as long as their order is placed before 13.00, their items will be delivered home that same evening, creating even greater speed and convenience in the whole shopping experience.

DW Seol, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Tesco Homeplus, said: “I am extremely proud of the great work the Tesco Homeplus team have done to launch this idea in the Seoul subway. We are always looking to make the shopping experience easier and more convenient for our customers and the introduction of the virtual store is a great achievement.  This is a real triumph for the Korean retailing industry as it continues to be at the forefront of technological innovation.”

The displays, which include a range of different daily items from milk and apples to pet food and stationery, will be placed on the pillars and the screen doors at the subway station. Commuters can then scan the QR code beneath the desired item via the Homeplus app on their smartphone and the item will then be delivered direct to the customer’s home at a time of their choosing.


For more information please contact John Timothy or Ian Hutchins in Tesco’s International Corporate Affairs Team on 01992 646346 and 01992 644887 respectively.


Note to Editor:

The store is the result of further development of the advert concept created by Cheil Worldwide that won the Grand Prix at the International Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France in July 2011. Please see the following link for more details on the advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJVoYsBym88&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.telegraph.co.uk%2Ftechnology%2Fmobile-phones%2F8601147%2FTesco-builds-virtual-shops-for-Korean-commuters.html&feature=player_embedded

The virtual store in the Seonreung subway station is trialing for a period of three months to capture response and gauge interest in the initiative.

The Homeplus App, which now allows Homeplus customers to scan and place orders at the virtual store, has already been downloaded by 600,000 people since launching four months ago and July online sales have increased 200% compared to April 2011

Tesco entered South Korea in 1999 in a joint venture with Samsung.

Homeplus in South Korea is Tesco’s most successful international business with revenue of almost £4,984m in 2010/11

Tesco has 409 stores in South Korea and employs 25,000 staff.

Images of the store can be found on the Multimedia Library section of this website.


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