每日英語跟讀 Ep.K603: 韓國便利商店見證金條販售機的需求增長 Korean Convenience Stores See Rising Demand for Gold Bars Sold in Vending Machines
Convenience stores in South Korea are witnessing a surge in the sale of gold bars through vending machines, driven by the increasing value of gold amid global inflationary pressures. GS Retail, a leading convenience store chain, reported that sales of gold bars at their stores reached $19 million in the nine months leading up to May. Since the introduction of vending machines selling gold bars in September, the popularity of this investment option has grown significantly.
GS Retail operates over 10,000 convenience stores throughout South Korea and offers gold bars in five different sizes, ranging from 0.13 ounces to 1.3 ounces. The prices of these gold bars are adjusted daily in accordance with the international gold market rates. The convenience and accessibility of purchasing gold bars at local stores have appealed to customers, especially the younger generation. People in their 20s and 30s have emerged as the primary buyers, viewing physical gold as a reliable investment during a time of continuous value appreciation.
In response to the growing demand, GS Retail plans to expand the availability of gold bars to more outlets. Currently, 29 convenience stores offer this investment option, but the company aims to increase the number to 50 by the end of the year. The smallest gold bar, weighing 0.13 ounces, is particularly popular among buyers and is priced around $225. The convenience store representative emphasized that the rising interest in gold bars is a result of people seeking a safe-haven investment to protect against inflationary risks.
According to Professor Lee Eun-hee from Inha University, the recent increase in gold prices can be attributed to factors such as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and concerns about inflation. She suggests that while purchasing a gold bar from a convenience store may seem like a fun activity, it is important to view it as a serious investment. The ease of accessibility and the familiar environment of convenience stores contribute to the popularity of gold bars as an investment option for the general public.
Reference article: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2023/06/16/Korea-gold-bars-vending-machines-convenience-stores/4781686942588/