According to the state statistical information service, South Korea had a 1.2 trillion won ($72.2 million) flower market in 2018. The domestic flower market mainly relies on beautifully decorated wreaths for weddings, birthdays, and funerals. It is also common to send small pots of orchids and flowering plants as a sign of formal celebration to a person who had just been promoted.
Flower delivery orders are accepted by individual florists via phone calls or online malls and flowers and plants are delivered by courier men on motorbikes. Some flower shops operate their own deliverymen or the owner delivers flowers directly, but the majority of flower shops use courier services.
GS Retail said that the company partnered with Songdo Flower Market to cooperate in the operation of a short-distance flower delivery service in the western port city of Incheon using GS Retail's on-foot delivery service platform called "Wooridongnae Delivery (Woodle)." The retail giant said that the two companies will seek to develop business models designed to accelerate the growth of neighborhood-based economies as well as to create synergy between retail services and flower-related services.
Woodle was launched in 2020. Anyone aged more than 18 years old can participate as deliverymen to carry small-sized packages including groceries to homes within a radius of 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from affiliated stores for a fee of up to about 3,500 won ($2.84).
The short-distance delivery platform was kick-started as a convenience store grocery delivery platform, but now it provides services for various retail stores including GS25, Olive Young, a cosmetics store chain operated by South Korea's CJ Group, and local traditional marketplaces. The platform had some 120,000 registered on-foot deliverymen as of December 2022.
GS Retail said the flower delivery service will contribute to the increased sales of local flower shops and the satisfactory level of customers because flowers will be delivered quickly and safely. "This cooperation between Songdo Flower Market is an innovative example of a delivery service for flower stores and it will help boost local economies, as well as provide benefits for customers and store owners," GS Retail's Quick-commerce Business Division head Kim Kyung-jin said in a statement on January 24.
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