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Leading South Korean convenience store operator, CU, is set to enter Mongolia this year.
BGF Retail has signed a deal with local Mongolian retailer, Central Express, which will operate CU outlets in Mongolia. The first CU store will open in in Ulaanbaatar this year. With a young population, Mongolia offers a great opportunity for convenience store operators to thrive.
BGF Retail's CEO Park Jae-koo, said 'We will accelerate our expansion into emerging markets with high growth potential to become a global convenience store operator [...]'
Last year, CU entered Iran via a franchise deal between BGF Retail and Entekhab Investment Development Group. Together, they launched the first CU store in November, marking the first overseas expansion for the banner.
With E-Mart 24 growing at a rapid pace, and the presence of other large c-store networks such as GS25 and 7-Eleven at home, CU has turned to overseas expansion as a means to support future growth. CU has historically taken a more cautious approach to global expansion relative to its competitors. The retailer has now also taken a different direction compared with its fierce rival GS25, which selected Southeast Asia and Vietnam earlier this year as its first overseas venture.
While modern trade is still under-developed in Mongolia, large international retailers are increasingly interested in the market. Spar has partnered local retailer Max Group to open 60 stores by 2020, while E-Mart is also operating in the country.
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