Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Small Businesses in Korea

In the news this week, President-elect Madam (Mademoiselle?) Park announced improvements to how small businesses are categorized. Previously, all small businesses were lumped into one group, SME: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

In order to better reflect the diverse nature of small businesses in Korea, companies will now be grouped into the following categories, beginning March 1st:

FSC Front Seat of Car
KTE Kitchen Table Enterprise
BFB Business from Briefcase
CTBW Can Touch Both Walls
STNC Shout to Next Cubicle
BBVB Big Black Van Business
GBP Gucci Bag Proprietorship
BAE Back Alley Enterprise
BCE Burberry Coat Enterprise

The new system will allow the government and financial sectors to better meet the needs of small businesses, targeting services tailored to each style of small business.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Costco

I received news by mail (real mail) that a new Costco was opening up next to the KTX Gwangmyeong railway station. It sounded far away, but turns out to be very close to our new office building.

I knew this was going to be fun immediately on arrival. Look at the happy faces on my fellow shoppers!

Well, this Costco is designed almost exactly like the ones I've visited in the USA. Big, huge warehouse on one floor (unlike the other crowded, two-story Costco I had previously visited in Korea). I assume land must be quite cheaper there in Gwangmyeong.

Since I arrive at dinner time, I decided to begin with a trip to the cafeteria. It was a little hard to get to the cafeteria after you entered the store - in fact I think you're not supposed to, due to the fact I had to cut through an unused checkout lane to get there.

The menu was almost the same as I've been used to, but they added a new Hot Turkey and Pastrami with Cheese sandwich to the menu. I decided to order this with a cup if clam chowder. Alas, the clerk explained the chowder wasn't hot. Not sure if this is normal or a temporary problem. Puzzled, I just ordered the sandwich. As I walked to the table area, a lady was giving out free samples of this new sandwich to everyone. I ended up with 1-1/3 sandwiches for the price of one.

Even though the store is bigger than others, the dining area is much smaller. Fortunately I to had to wait a few minutes to get a table, though I had to share with some other folks. Other than that, it was relaxing and pleasant dinner.

On to shopping, no surprises. I found my few usual essential Costco items. I did note this 84 inch television they had on sale for only $24,000!!! I could carry it home, so I had to pass.

Bottom line - the store is well laid out. I didn't find it particularly crowded, even on a Friday night. Hopefully they'll add more tables and buy a stove to heat the chowder, but from now on this is my "local" Costco. Highly recommended.