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BGF Retail, operator of South Korean c-store chain CU, will acquire a stake in online grocery platform Hello Nature.
BGF is investing KRW30bn (US$28m) to acquire 50.1% stake in Hello Nature. The retailer will operate Hello Nature as a joint venture with SK Planet, who bought the company in 2016. Founded in 2012, Hello Nature is a premium online grocery delivery service offering products sourced directly from over 1,000 farmers.
Organic foods are increasingly popular among Korean consumers. Hello Nature provides compact portions of fresh groceries ideal for individuals and small households. The service well reflects the rise of this growing customer segment, which has been driving demand for online delivery services in the country.
Hello Nature posted sales of KRW10.6bn (US$9.9m) last year, and this has grown by an average of 121% over the last three years. BGF will take advantage of SK Planet's experience with online trading and hopes to transform Hello Nature into the leading online grocery platform within the next five years. It will also look to connect Hello Nature's delivery service to its network of over 13,000 CU stores across Korea.
Hello Nature could also venture into brick-and-mortar operations, using BGF's experience in offline retail and SK Telecom's capability in AI.
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