[THE INVESTOR] GS Retail, operator of convenience store chain GS25, on July 12 announced that it has signed a contract to acquire a stake worth 33 billion won (US$29.29 million) in US-based e-commerce firm Thrive Market.
This is GS Retail’s first investment outside Korea. The company will complete the deal by July 20.
“We decided to make a strategic investment in Thrive Market because it has a unique business model that does not exist in Korea and is expected to grow further,” Chung Chun-ho, a GS Retail official said in a statement.
Established in 2015, Thrive Market operates a membership-based online website, which sells natural and organic food products. Its users pay US$ 60 each year to buy products with 25 to 50 percent discount. The firm’s sales have jumped more than 40 percent since it was established and are expected to reach around 200 billion won this year.
GS retail also added that it will form a partnership with the US firm to learn its unique business know-how. Moreover, GS Retail will start selling some of the popular items sold on Thrive Market at its operating outlets including GS25, GS Supermarket and Lalavla.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)