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Online retail sales grow at double-digit rate in March 2018-04-27

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on April 27 that online retail sales in March expanded 17.0 percent from a year earlier.

Sales of brick-and-mortar retailers also advanced 5.4 percent year-on-year. This increase came from every type of in-store retailers, from convenience stores to hypermarkets.

Thanks to the strong performances from both online and in-store retailers, overall retail sales in March saw a growth of 9.4 percent.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy estimates monthly retail sales by surveying data from 26 major retailers. Half of them are in-store retailers: three department store chains, three hypermarket chains, three convenience store chains, and four “super supermarket (SSM)” operators. The other half are online retailers: nine online sellers and four online shopping intermediaries.

For in-store retailers, sales of the convenience store chains jumped 13.4 percent from a year ago. This expansion is attributable to a growing number of stores and higher demand for food, which accounts for more than half (52.9 percent) of their sales.

The department store chains had their sales improved by 5.4 percent. With household goods (up 19.8 percent) leading the growth, sales of all categories except for accessories (down 3.2 percent) increased.

The hypermarket chains saw a 1.0 percent sales growth on the back of robust demand for home appliances, including air purifiers. More air purifiers were sought after by consumers due to particular matter pollution.

Sales of the SSM operators also inched up 0.1 percent, mostly attributable to greater demand for food, which took the highest proportion (89.1 percent) of their total sales.

For web-based retailers, the nine online sellers posted a year-on-year sales growth of 18.1 percent and the four online shopping intermediaries saw that of 16.6 percent. The double-digit sales growth of the online sellers was largely led by food (up 23.5 percent) and household goods/furniture (up 14.9 percent), while that of the intermediaries was primarily driven by services/others (up 45.5 percent) and home appliances/electronics (up 18.4 percent).

By product, all seven major categories ranging from food to fashion accessories recorded year-on-year sales growths. Among them, three categories achieved double-digit increases: services/others (24.5 percent), home appliances/culture (19.3 percent), and global brands (11.4 percent).

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