CU (store)

CU (Korean: 씨유) (KRX: 027410) is a South Korean convenience store chain that is operated and owned by BGF Retail. It was formed after FamilyMart's franchise license in South Korea expired.

CU
Native name
Hangul씨유
Revised RomanizationShiyu
McCune–ReischauerShiyu
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryConvenience stores
Founded1990 (as Bogwang FamilyMart)
2012 (as CVS for You)
2017 (as CU)
Headquarters
Number of locations
13820[1]
(as of November 2019)
Area served
Korea, Mongolia, malaysia
OwnerBGF Retail
ParentBogwang Group
FamilyMart (former)
WebsiteBGF-CU.com

DevelopmentEdit

Bogwang FamilyMart changed its name to BGF Retail in 2012 to launch its own convenience store brand, CU. The motive of this move was to establish a Korean style convenience store for the customers. CU stands for "CVS for U." Since 1990, FamilyMart had been dominating the South Korean convenience store market for 22 years.[citation needed] Bogwang Group and FamilyMart signed a contract that stated that by 2014, FamilyMart had to fully exit the South Korean market and cannot relaunch the FamilyMart franchise in both South Korea and North Korea until 2016. However, after FamilyMart's exit in 2014, the brand has not yet relaunched in the Korean peninsula. In April 2019, CU has started a delivery service, and magnified the service to 1000 stores in May.[2]

Relationship with FamilyMartEdit

In 1990, FamilyMart officially launched their first store in South Korea, entering the market. The Bogwang FamilyMart Corporation had to give FamilyMart brand a royalty which meant that technically most of the money that FamilyMart made in South Korea was going to Japan.[citation needed]

In 2012, the CU brand was launched, and over about two years BGF Retail changed the store signs from FamilyMart to CU. However, some store managers refused to change the store sign because they did not want to "restart" with a barely known brand and wanted to keep the FamilyMart sign. However, BGF Retail ended up changing all the signs forcefully, but later added "with FamilyMart" on the sign to get rid of customer confusion. However, CU stores made less profit because many people were not used to the brand. They started making profit, and by 2016 CU was as popular as FamilyMart.[citation needed]

Currently, FamilyMart has no control over CU. The "with FamilyMart" stickers that were on the store signs were taken off, and FamilyMart has completely disappeared from the South Korean market. However, during AFC (Asian Football Confederation) soccer matches, FamilyMart is still advertised even if the match is in South Korea. This is because FamilyMart is a partner of the AFC, and has nothing to do with the former Korean version of Bogwang FamilyMart.

Foreign operationsEdit

IranEdit

CU launched its first foreign store in November 2018, in Tehran, Iran. However, the store had not even operated for a month when it had to close because of US sanctions against Iran.

MongoliaEdit

CU has opened 110 stores in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as of Feb, 2021. Also, they plan to expand the number of branches to from 150 to 160 by the end of the 2021. CU launched its first foreign store in November 2018, The stores are fully operational and BGF Retail said that they would focus on the Mongolian market for a while. There is going to be competition soon from GS 25 brand, however with ever growing popularity of the CU brand, it is highly doubtful that another brand can outwit CU in terms of sales.

MalaysiaEdit

CU is planning to open 500 stores by 2026 with its first stores set to open in 2021, after reaching a partnership with local convenience store company myNews Holdings Bhd. The group will be looking at opening 30 to 50 CU stores first to monitor how they perform. In April 2021, CU opened its first store in Centerpoint Bandar Utama.[3][4]

Former logos of CUEdit

CU has changed its logo several times in the past.

 
August 2012 ~ November 2017 BI
 
November 2017 ~ NOW

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.enewstoday.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=1367630
  2. ^ 강인선. "CU, 전국 1000여개 점포에서 배달 시작 - 매일경제". mk.co.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  3. ^ "MyNews to operate South Korea's CU stores in Malaysia". The Edge Markets. October 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Lee, Faye (April 1, 2021). "myNEWS Launches The First CU Convenience Store And Expects To Break Even Within 3 Years".

External linksEdit