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S. Korean gov't to transform small local shops with latest technology Updated: 2020-09-18 06:16:00 KST

The South Korean government is planning a digital transformation for small local shops.
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, in a meeting with economy-related officials on Thursday, said that the government plans to support small businesses to keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

"It is not only important to support those small business owners amid the COVID-19 crisis but it is also essential to provide fundamental measures to help give them a competitive edge in the digital era."

Under the plan, 500 traditional markets across the country will be digitalized by 2025.
Traditional markets are launching online shops and customers will be able to get products delivered to their homes.
The government will also simplify their online and mobile payment systems.
It will also create some 100,000 smart stores by 2025, using the latest technologies including robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Services including touchscreens will be available at restaurants and cafes. And unmanned supermarkets will run 24-7. Virtual fitting rooms will be established to improve the online shopping experience and reduce the number of returns.
And the government plans to provide the latest technology to another 10-thousand craft shops by 2025. It will help create a safer working environment through automated and efficient production facilities.

The government will also create digital business districts and nurture them as regional hot spots.
And it will train 50-thousand small business owners to familiarize them with the latest technologies.
The push to digitalize small local shops aims to create some 129-thousand jobs by 2025.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.
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