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KOREA--The number of convenience stores in South Korea is expected to pass the 10,000 mark by the end of this year, an industry report showed Monday, according to The Korea Times .

For 2006, chains in South Korea plan to add 1,115 new outlets to grow by 12.3 percent from a year ago, raising the total number to 10,200, the Korea Association of Convenience Stores said in the report.

Convenience store chains began operating in South Korea 1989 and have experienced sharp growth since 2001, according to the newspaper.

The market for them is forecast to grow 12.8 percent this year from a year earlier to 590.8 billion won ($634 million), according to the report.