By Nam Hyun-woo
Homeplus is seeking to help small-and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) market their quality products by sharing its extensive retail network, the discount chain said Wednesday.
As part of its efforts to seek mutual growth with smaller firms, Homeplus has been receiving applications since Sept. 30 from SMEs that have marketable products but lack effective distribution channels.
After two months of screening, selected products will be on the shelves of 480 Homeplus stores and 260 Homeplus convenience stores across the country from January. The products will also be available for purchase on Homeplus' online mall.
It takes six months on average for a firm to make its product available at a large discount chain, but the program streamlines multiple processes to help SMEs see fast growth, Homeplus said, adding it also enjoys the benefits of introducing trending items promptly.
"With the program, we can support SMEs that have difficulties in securing distribution channels, and we can retail less-known quality products, which are hard to find at large discount stores," a Homeplus official said.
Application is made at imstars.or.kr until Oct. 13.
Homeplus plans to hold this program twice a year in the future and provide selected items to European Marketing Distribution (EMD) members and Vietnam's Vingroup. Homeplus is a member of EMD, which is Europe's No. 1 retail alliance, and has an MOU with Vingroup.
This is Homeplus' latest effort toward mutual growth with SMEs.
Last year, Homeplus set up a web-based management system for partner companies, called "Join Us, Partners." Through the system, partner companies can handle tax invoices and other documentation stemming from trading with Homeplus, and new companies can apply to sell their products in Homeplus stores.
"To seek mutual growth with SMEs and enhance the competitiveness of the products we sell, we are making efforts to lower the barrier for new partner companies," Homeplus Executive Vice President Kim Woong said. "In doing so, we will not apply conventional standards, such as trading volume and public awareness of the brand, but will focus on the value the product will provide to customers."