The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on October 29 that retail sales jumped 8.4 percent to 10.5 trillion won in September on a 22.8-percent increase in e-commerce revenues.
Web-based sales, which account for about a third of the total retail sales, soared 22.8 percent from a year earlier. Last year, Korea celebrated Chuseok in September and online shopping slowed down with delivery services suspended during the national holiday. Chuseok was in early October this year.
In-store revenues advanced 2.6 percent with all-types of retailers except hypermarkets posting sales growths.
Across all types of retailers, sales in all product categories increased with double-digit growths recorded by the service/miscellaneous and home appliance/culture categories.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy estimates monthly retail sales by surveying data from 26 major retailers. They include 13 in-store retailers including three department store chains, three hypermarket chains, three convenient store chains, and four “super supermarkets (SSMs)” operators as well as 13 online retailers including nine major online sellers and four online sales intermediaries.
A 22.8-percent growth of online sales was largely driven by strong performances of online sellers. Combined revenues of the nine major online sellers leaped 46.2 percent year-on-year with food sales soaring 49.6 percent and clothing purchases surging 48.5 percent. The online sellers accounted for 9.8 percent of the total retail sales in September – up from 7.3 percent a year earlier.
The four online sales intermediaries, which operate between buyers and sellers, posted a 14.7-percent increase in revenues. Their food sales spiked 34.5 percent, and revenues from the lifestyle/furniture category rose by 17.2 percent.
A breakdown of sales in physical stores showed than convenient stores, department stores, and SSMs generated more revenues compared to a year ago.
Sales of the three convenient chains jumped 12.1 percent thanks to a 13.6-percent growth in food revenues and to a 14.7-percent increase in the number of stores. Revenues per store, however, contracted 2.2 percent.
The three department store chains saw their combined revenues expand 4.9 percent as sales of products for households including large furniture surged 12.8 percent. The four chains of supermarkets operated by large retailers, known as SSMs, recorded a 2.1-percent increase in revenues led by rising prices of vegetables and growing demand for processed and precooked food.
Sales of the three hypermarket chains contracted 4.9 percent with revenues from all product categories declining.
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