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Coupang Expands Rocket Delivery, Targets Broader South Korean Reach

With $2.22 billion investment, Coupang to enhance logistics, challenge Alibaba with broader coverage and next-day grocery delivery
South Korea
c CPNG Blue Chip 150 Tech 350 OM 60
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Coupang, South Korea’s premier online shopping platform, announced a significant expansion plan on Wednesday. The company is set to invest 3 trillion won ($2.22 billion) by 2027 to extend its innovative Rocket Delivery service across South Korea. This strategic move aims to increase the service’s coverage from 70% to 88% of the nation, a clear challenge to Alibaba Group Holding, Coupang’s main competitor in the bustling South Korean online shopping arena.

This investment will see the establishment of eight new, vast fulfillment centers across various strategic locations, including Busan and Gwangju. These centers will be outfitted with advanced, labor-saving robotics technology, underscoring Coupang’s commitment to efficiency and rapid delivery services. This development is poised to enhance Coupang’s logistics network, which has received over 6 trillion won in investment since 2010, further cementing its dominance in the domestic market.

Coupang’s Rocket Delivery service, including Rocket Fresh for next-morning grocery deliveries, has set a new standard in e-commerce by promising unprecedented delivery speeds. With this expansion, Coupang not only aims to improve the quality of life for South Koreans but also to provide critical infrastructure in regions threatened by population decline, particularly outside the densely populated Seoul area.

Despite facing stiff competition, Coupang’s aggressive expansion and investment in logistics signal its intention to maintain and grow its market leadership. With over 21 million active users as of the fourth quarter of 2023, representing more than 90% of South Korean households, Coupang’s latest investment reflects its ambition to reshape the e-commerce landscape in South Korea, making it a case study in how digital platforms can influence both the economy and the fabric of society.

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