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The Korean Wave is sweeping over Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur after locals flocked to a newly opened CU convenience store last week.

BGF Retail Co says its first franchised store in Malaysia, CU Centrepoint, was visited by more than 11,000 local consumers during the 10 days since it opened.

The feat comes despite quarantine measures that limited the store’s operating hours to between 8am and 10pm with only 30 customers permitted inside at a time.

The unprecedented popularity reflects local demand for experiencing Korean culture, at a time when overseas travel is difficult due to the coronavirus.

In fact, all top five bestsellers at CU Centerpoint in the last 10 days were Korean products, including tteokbokki, a popular Korean snack made from rice cakes and red chili pepper sauce, which ranked first.

More than one third of total sales at CU Centrepoint consisted of instant food products from South Korea.

CU plans to open 500 stores in Malaysia within five years in a joint venture partnership with local convenience-store operator MyNews.