Small retailers have struggled to compete with large retailers and supermarkets in the past, but now they are starting to find ways to coexist with their larger rivals.
Sunheene Bindaetteok in Kwangjang market,… is selling its mung bean pancakes to Emart, one of the nation's largest supermarkets.
It grabbed an opportunity to launch a pop-up store in a department store, and this led to the interest by E-mart.
Other stores have started using online platforms and social media services.
According to the Statistics Korea, online shopping turnover this July was more than 9-billion US dollars,… which is around a 15% increase on-year.
Fruit shop "Kwangjin Gwail" and Korean side-dish shop "Hong Lim" decided to make the most of this trend.
"My kids uploaded our market stall on Instagram and Naver and the business is doing much better because our products can be delivered to customers"
"Hong Lim" even appeared on the TV program "Street Food" by media streaming service Netflix.
"A lot of people liked us and praised us on Internet and by SNS. I think that is why Netflix came to us. Westerners didn't try traditional Korean foods before but since then they try them out more often. It actually helps boost sales."
Thanks to online platforms and SNS, traditional markets are fast becoming tourist spots for foreigners who come to enjoy Korean foods.
"They are amazing actually. The food is nice here and the market is so nice. I love it and the color is so nice. I haven't tasted but I will try to taste some of them."
The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises is planning various ways to support these small retailors.
It launched a campaign on Friday under the slogan of "Buy value, live together",… to promote traditional markets.
The Minister of SMEs and Startups laid out supporting plans for small retailers in South Korea.
"We decided to connect K-food, K-culture and K-beauty all together. Under the name of ‘Brand K,’ we would like to promote Korea's traditional products from small and medium sized firms to the world. Until now, we have mainly supported off-line stores and modernizing traditional markets. But from now on, we will start focusing on supporting on-line shops."
"By adapting to the latest consumer trends and broadening their customer base, these small retailers at traditional markets have found a way to exist side-by-side with their larger competitors.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News."