A relatively empty street in downtown Seoul on Sept. 13, 2020. (Yonhap)
Fried chicken franchises marked the largest on-year sales increase last year on growing demand for takeout and delivery, data showed Thursday.
According to Statistics Korea, fried chicken franchises saw their sales jumping 21.7 percent in 2019, with each branch selling about 200 million won of products and services on average.
“Increased chicken prices, along with the inclusion of delivery fees in chicken prices, have boosted the overall revenue in the segment,” said Lee Jin-seok, a manager at an industrial statistics unit under the statistics agency.
“Demand for delivery food and takeout, and laundry services rose thanks to the increased number of single-person households,” the Statistics Korea official added.
Franchises in South Korea -- including restaurants, shops and convenience stores - pulled in 74.2 trillion won ($67.3 billion) in 2019, up 8.7 percent on-year. Sales generated by an individual franchise business rose 6 percent on average to 344 million won, the report showed.
By sector, franchised pharmacies earned the highest, with their sales per store coming in at some 1 billion won, followed by convenience stores, marking an average revenue of 550 million won. Automobile repair shops and bakeries had sales of 460 million won and 400 million won on average last year, respectively.
Kimbap and fast-food restaurants and laundry shops also saw their revenues rise more than 10 percent on average.
The number of franchises last year came to 216,000, up 2.6 percent from the previous year. They include 41,000 convenience stores, 31,000 Korean food restaurants, and 26,000 chicken restaurants, all of which accounted for 45.6 percent of the entire franchise businesses in the year.
The local franchise sector hired 848,000 employees, up 3.9 percent on-year. Women made up 59.8 percent of the entire workforce in the industry. Some 106,000 franchises, nearly the half of all franchise businesses, were located in Seoul and surrounding areas, including Incheon City and Gyeonggi Province.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org