South Korean convenience stores, also referred to as marts, are getting a lot of business from foreigners and natives alike for allowing their patrons to drink outside their marts.
VICE Canada reported on this current trend in South Korea where visiting foreigners and expats love to go to small marts and drink outside. This activity has been coined “marting.”
It is now a relatively new trend, first appearing in the early 2000s, but it is one that has become very popular not just with foreigners but with natives as well. One mart owner describes that it’s mostly company workers or university students because those groups of people are the most stressed.
Lexy Mart owner Sang Man Seok describes that on any night in the spring, summer, and fall, there could be up to 30 people marting at his store. As the night progresses that number easily rises to 60-70 people. From this alone he makes up almost 30 percent of his profits.
VICE Canada spoke with some expats there who wished that marting would be a thing back home in Canada as well. The primary reason they love to go drinking outside of marts is because of the cheap price of alcohol and the laidback atmosphere as compared to going to a bar.
However it’s not always fun and games, as fights are more likely to break out at these marts. Additionally sometimes the owners get in trouble with the authorities because of people dragging tables too far away from the store, resulting in customers drinking in public spaces.
Regardless, it looks like marting is something that’s been very popular over the years and it’s here to stay. So if you ever find yourself in South Korea make sure to stop by one and partake in this cultural rite of passage.
Source: VICE News