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Rivals see surge in revenue as Coupang reels from COVID-19 damage


South Korean retail giant E-mart’s online store said Friday it has witnessed a spike in its business as worried customers are shunning online grocery delivery platforms of Coupang and Market Kurly whose logistics centers reported virus infections recently.

According to, the number and sales of early morning deliveries on Friday jumped 14 percent and 37 percent, respectively, compared to last week after two Coupang employees and one Market Kurly employee working at their logistics center tested positive for coronavirus infection.

“As there has been nothing special going on, except the infection cases from Coupang and Market Kurly’s logistics centers, customers must have selected as an alternative,” a company official said.

Last Saturday, an employee working at Coupang’s logistics center in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, contracted the virus and the center was shut down on Monday afternoon. Coupang closed its second logistics center in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on Thursday after a new COVID-19 case was confirmed among workers there.

Market Kurly also shut down its logistics center in Songpa-gu in Seoul on Wednesday, after a part-time worker was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, local convenience store GS25 saw a boost in business, with its sales of paper tissues, pet products and bottled water surging by 29.8, 25.9 and 20.1 percent, respectively, on Wednesday and Thursday compared to the same two days last week.

“Paper tissues, pet products and bottled water are items Coupang customers order regularly. I think the demand migrated to convenience stores,” a GS25 official said.

By Kim Byung-wook (