SEOUL, KOREA ? South Korea's largest convenience store chain, BGF Retail Co., announced earlier this week that it has opened the country?s first two stores that incorporate a pharmacy into a convenience store, The Korea Herald reports.
The new stores follow an announcement in May by the South Korean government that allows the sale of some non-prescription drugs at convenience stores and supermarkets.
The stores opened in towns roughly 250 southeast of Seoul and are partitioned into two sections each, one for a pharmacy and one for a convenience store. The pharmacy operates until 10 p.m. each day, while the convenience store remains open 24 hours a day.
"We came up with the new concept after consistent such calls from small-sized pharmacists who are struggling to survive after the passage of the new law and the mushrooming of large-sized pharmacies," said BGF spokesperson Min Seung-bae. "The new type of stores will be helpful both for reviving the sagging local economy and for enhancing customers' convenience.?
The company is planning to expand the number of hybrid stores throughout the country.