Tesco Supermarkets in South Korea were rebranded as “Homeplus“, adjusting to the local market and moving up to the second most popular store behind the number one company, E-mart. However the company faced the challenge of taking on E-Mart without opening many more stores. Research showed that many Korean customers were focused on getting to and from work and felt they had little time for supermarket shopping. Homeplus created virtual stores in subway stations hoping to blend into people’s everyday lives. The displays were designed to look exactly like those in actual stores, from display layout to the merchandise. Customers were able to use their smart phones to scan QR codes, putting products in their on-line carts. When the online purchase was transacted, shopping was delivered to the door right after customers reached their homes. Online sales between November 2010 and January 2011 increased by 130 percent, with the number of registered members rising by 76 percent. Homeplus has become the number one online store and has raised the stakes in the offline market. The campaign won Grand Prix in Media, and Gold Lions for Direct and Outdoor at the 2011 Cannes International Festival of Creativity.
The Virtual Subway Store was developed at Cheil Worldwide, Seoul, Korea, by executive creative director Joungrack Lee, creative director Youna Chung, art directors Youna Chung, Youbin Bang, Yeonjoo Lee, copywriter Misu Yi, photographer Skyteam, illustrator Sungmin Jee, and account manager Joowon Han.