The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on November 29 that Korea’s retail sales grew 3 percent to 10.13 trillion won in October from a year ago.
Online sales, which account for about a third of the total retail sales, rose by 4.2 percent, a relatively slow pace compared to past months due to the suspension of delivery services during the Chuseok holiday between October 3 and 9. In-store sales climbed 2.5 percent.
By product, sales in five of seven major product categories ranging from food to home appliance/culture expanded in October with the service/miscellaneous category growing at the fastest pace of 10.3 percent.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy estimates monthly retail sales by surveying data from 26 major retailers. In-store sales are combined revenues of 13 brick-and-mortar retailers including three department store chains, three hypermarket chains, three convenient store chains, and four chains of supermarkets operated by large retailers called “super supermarkets (SSMs).”Online sales are the total revenues of 13 online retailers including nine major online sellers and four online sales intermediaries, which operate between buyers and sellers.
A breakdown of web-based sales showed that the nine online sellers together generated 20.5 percent more in revenues compared to a year earlier while sales of the four online sales intermediaries inched down 1.3 percent.
Revenues of the online sellers jumped on an 18.8-percent growth in food sales and a 15.8-percent increase in clothing sales. Those of the online sales intermediaries were affected by the suspension of delivery service with clothing sales falling 19.1 percent.
Among retailers with physical stores, the convenient store chains and hypermarket operators posted growths in revenues.
Sales of the three convenient store chains surged 10.3 percent with the number of stores growing 13.6 percent and food sales 12.8 percent. Meanwhile, revenues per store weakened 3 percent.
The three hypermarket chains posted a 5.3-percent increase in revenues thanks to strong sales of gift sets for the Chuseok holiday.
Sales of the three department store chains contracted 3.7 percent. The number of visitors to department stores declined on one fewer working day in October and the decrease in tourists from China. Fewer visitors also led to a 7.7-percent reduction in revenues of the four SSM chains.
* Short version