Customers line up outside the first CU convenience store outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (BGF Retail)
The first Malaysian outlet of CU, the South Korean convenience store chain, has seen more than 11,000 customers in just 10 days since opening, the company said Tuesday.
According to BGF Retail, the firm behind the CU chain, an average of 1,000 people have visited the store in Kuala Lumpur daily since it opened on April 1. That is about three times the average number of visitors of CU stores in South Korea, the company added.
A typical CU store here is open for 24 hours. But the Malaysian store is currently operating from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and limits the number of people inside the store to a maximum of 30 at a time, as part of social distancing measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, BGF Retail said, signaling that the reception may be as hot as it gets under such restrictions.
On the store’s opening day, the line of people waiting to enter the store was over 100 meters long, and it became viral on Malaysian social media, the company said.
CU employees prepare Korean food items at the first CU convenience store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (BGF Retail)
In the store, over 60 percent of the products are Korean goods. The location also sells Korean food items made on the spot.
The operator said the five top sellers are all Korean products, with the best-seller being tteokbokki -- Korean stir-fried rice cakes -- which has sold more than 2,500 cups over the 10 days. Korean-style fried chicken, known as chicken gangjeong, is the second best-selling item.
BGF Retail entered the Malaysian market after signing a brand licensing agreement with Mynews Holdings, the country’s No. 2 convenience store chain, last year.
BGF Retail said it plans to open 50 CU stores within a year, and more than 500 locations in the next five years.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org