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Convenience store: Great experiences in a small space

Seoul | South Korea’s largest convenience store chain GS25 integrated square digital signage displays, LED columns and 19 different digital convenience solutions into the new DX Lab store in the heart of Seoul. The store can be operated both with staff and unmanned. invidis took a break for some test shopping.

With nearly 15,000 stores, GS25 is South Korea’s leading convenience store chain. The former LG subsidiary boasts the most satisfied customers in the country and is considered particularly innovative. In the middle of the Gangnam business district, GS25 runs the DX Lab & Cafe Future Store, which lives up to its name. GS25 integrated no fewer than 19 new retail tech solutions into the store. These were designed to operate the convenience store both with employees during the day and autonomously at night and on the weekends.

Of course, proper digital signage cannot be missed in any future store concept. The GS25 DX Lab & Cafe is no exception. Among other touchpoints the store is fitted with LED (column) and stretched displays (above the beverage refrigerated cabinets and menu boards for promotion and services above the checkout). Quite remarkable are seven square screens in the self-service café, each of which is mounted above a specialty coffee machine. In addition to normal coffee specialties, GS25 also offers decaffeinated coffee and an art cappuccino machine that conjures up desired graphics using cocoa powder on the coffee foam. There is also a washing machine and a reusable return machine in the cafe.

It’s hip to be square – square displays

Square displays are much more common in Asia than in Europe. Special sizes (square, stretched) are often used instead of 16:9 displays due to a lack of space at the POS. In Europe, Red Bull is the only brand using the unusual form factor. The retail media content of the promotion displays is played out in real-time according to target groups inside the store. All merchandise are labeled with electronic shelf labels to adapt pricing according to daytime.

In addition to digital signage, GS25 uses payment terminals with facial recognition in the Lab Store, AI-based video surveillance to detect unusual occurrences in operations, an automated theft prevention solution, a vending machine for the unmanned sale of spirits and a wine by the glass dispenser.

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The store is rounded off with colored glass in the window, indirect lighting and a large display on the outside to embody the atmosphere of the laboratory concept. A Korean-language video shows the store and its functions.