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Urban Agriculture

Reviving the backstreet business district

The backstreet business district, the very place of citizens’ everyday lives, is shrinking as large distributors such as big marts, department store, and SSM (enterprise-type supermarkets) increase in number and people’s shopping lifestyle continues to change. Thus, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has installed and is operating small and mid-sized business distribution centers to provide small and mid-sized sellers working in the backstreet business district with supplies at low cost. It has pursued measures of coexistence through regulations that include limiting business hours as well as the mandatory closing on the second and fourth Sundays for big marts and SSM (enterprise-type supermarket). Seoul’s small and middle-sized supermarkets in stores total floor area of with less than 300㎡ are supported through super doctor consulting since they have difficulties when large distributors expand to the backstreet business district.

SSM business adjustment policy

When supermarkets (SSM) run by big companies enter local business districts (takeover·launch·expansion, etc.) and pose a possible threat to the stability of small businesses, the government may investigate and deliberate on delaying such takeover·launch·expansion of the big companies or suggest a reduction of the scope through this policy. One may apply for adjustment by following the business adjustment process when there is Homeplus, Lotte Mart, E-mart Every day, GS Retail, Hanaro Mart, Kim’s Club mart, or any other enterprise-type supermarket (SSM) opening or which is scheduled to open in the area.

SSM business adjustment policy

Establish small and middle-sized distribution common wholesale distribution center.

To provide opportunities for small and mid-sized businesses to have equal competitiveness and to be able to survive on their own as enterprise-type distribution businesses (SSM) penetrate the small backstreet business district and cause much difficulty for them this policy secured a common distribution center for small and mid-sized distributors, established for small and mid-sized businesses, and had them operate it from 2011. After the first establishment (Seoul Seocho-gu Yangjae-daero Yanggok Wholesale Market) two more are to be built in the long run.

Operate super doctor (Dr) to increase sales of small and mid-sized markets.

Super doctors consisting of business district experts, etc., will visit the small supermarkets having economic difficulty and offer consulting on their general management of the business such as customer management, store layout, product display, etc., through this policy.

  • Diagnosis : customized diagnosis including store owner consultation, field research for store layout and operation method, etc.
  • Prescription : Optimum, customized diagnosis, enhancement of product display and facilities, business mind and marketing strategies, support in the form of fund, loan, etc.
  • Remedy : On-site fixing of things that can be resolved immediately, suggesting remedies after business diagnosis