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Franchise stores enjoy bump in numbers

An Emart24 store in Seoul (Yonhap)
An Emart24 store in Seoul (Yonhap)
Franchise stores grew in numbers during the coronavirus pandemic last year though sales remained nearly unchanged, a new report from corporate tracker CEO Score showed Wednesday.

The number of franchise brand stores in 2020 increased by 4,559, up 4.5 percent compared to 2019, according to the report which drew data from the Fair Trade Commission.

With a total of 105,837 stores operated by top franchise brands last year, the figure was a 11.1 percent jump compared to 2018 when the number stood at 95,258.

Revenue stood at 120.2 trillion won ($100.6 billion) -- a 1.7 percent year-on-year jump. The corporate rating agency explained the bump was thanks to Hyundai and Kia which were included in last year’s list.

When the automotive sector is excluded from the list, revenue for top franchise brand stores was 35.82 trillion won last year, slightly down from 2019’s figure of 35.88 trillion won.

When broken down by industry, 2,878 new convenience stores opened last year.

Some 1,650 new CU stores opened during that period, one of the main convenience store chains in the country while Emart24 saw some 1,200 new shops open in 2020.

With figures from GS25 and 7-Eleven not included in the report, CEO Score said the total number of new convenience stores last year is likely higher.

While convenience stores, fried chicken shops, coffee and beverage franchises all enjoyed growth, the number of cosmetics, education and automotive franchises saw a downward trend.

Beauty franchises saw 25.7 percent of stores close last year, becoming the only industry with a business closure rate of over 20 percent, the report said.

One in 10 education services, eyewear stores and bars also shuttered. In contrast, more than 2 in 10 coffee and beverage franchises in operation last year were new, marking the strong popularity of cafes in South Korea.

When broken down by annual average revenue, all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant chain Qoo Qoo came out on top with 1.7 billion won, followed by dollar store operator Asung Daiso with 1.27 billion won.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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