Seoul [South Korea], April 2 (ANI/Global Economic): CU has opened the doors of its first store in Malaysia, signaling a full-fledged entry into the country. CU is one of the big three convenience store chains in South Korea in terms of the number of stores, and the chain is owned by South Korean company BGF Retail Co Ltd.
CU announced today that it opened its first store in Kuala Lumpur, making Malaysia the second foreign market the convenience store chain made an entry into after entering Mongolia in 2018. Malaysia's first CU store has opened inside a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur's middle-class neighborhood. The store is large-sized, measuring approximately 165 square meters.
The opening ceremony of the store was attended by prominent individuals such as Lim Hyung-geun, head of BGF Retail's overseas business department, myNEWS Holdings Bhd CEO Dang Tai Luk, South Korean Ambassador to Malaysia Lee Chi-beom, and Kwon Young-jin, a director at the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
CU used BGF's global system exclusively for overseas business for the first time in making the entrance into the Malaysian market. The South Korean convenience store chain is aiming to be the first of its industry to not only bring South Korea's convenience store model built on decades of knowledge and experiences, but also South Korean IT technologies to overseas markets.
CU's entry into Malaysia marks the first attempt to introduce a South Korean convenience store's brand and system to a foreign company that operates local brands of its region. It is also an instance where a company in the retail and distribution industry was able to bear fruit from its pursuit of establishing business in the Southeast Asian region. CU's entrance into Malaysia is also quite significant in that the move throws a challenge to 7-Eleven, a powerhouse in the traditional convenience store business.
With about 2,400 stores under its belt in Malaysia, 7-Eleven is the No. 1 company in its industry in Malaysia. In second place is myNEWS Holdings, a partner company of BGF, with 530 stores across the country. Japanese convenience chain FamilyMart is ranked third with about 200 stores in the country.
CU has set a goal to open 50 new stores within a year and aspires to become No. 1 in the industry in the mid- to long-term by adding more than 500 stores over the next five years.
CU is gearing up to expand the number of its new store openings following the opening of its first store in Malaysia, and at the same time, it is preparing to gradually convert existing myNEWS.com stores into CU stores. As a result, it is expected that CU's stores and Japanese convenience stores will be duking it out for market share of the Malaysian convenience store market in the future. (ANI/Global Economic)