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Retail sales up 6.7 percent in May, led by online sales 2018-06-27
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on June 27 that overall retail sales in May expanded 6.7 percent from a year earlier on the back of strong online sales.
 
Online sales surged 17.2 percent, continuing a seven-month streak of double-digit growth. 
 
Sales at brick-and-mortar retailers also advanced 1.2 percent year-on-year, led by sales growth at convenience stores and department stores.
 
All categories of retailers, except convenience stores, saw a fewer number of purchases but the average sizes of each purchase rose across all retailer types.
 
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy estimates monthly retail sales by surveying data from 26 major retailers. Half of those are physical, 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.
 
At in-store retailers, sales of the convenience store chains jumped 9.1 percent from a year ago. This expansion is attributed to a growing number of stores and to higher demand for food, such as lunchboxes and imported beer.
 
Department store chains saw their sales improve by 1.8 percent. Household goods (up 3.2 percent) and food (up 1.9 percent) led the improvement. 
 
Hypermarket chains saw a 4.5 percent decline in sales, mostly attributable to the fewer number of national holidays in the period than last year. 
 
Sales at SSMs also inched down 1.2 percent, with food sales, which account for the highest proportion (89.7 percent) of total sales at such retailers, decreasing 0.4 percent. 
 
At web-based retailers, the nine online sellers posted year-on-year sales growth of 21.3 percent and the four online shopping intermediaries saw growth of 15.6 percent. The double-digit sales growth at online sellers was largely led by food (up 28.8 percent), while that at the intermediaries was primarily driven by home appliances/electronics (up 11.2 percent).
 
By product, all seven major categories, except fashion accessories, recorded year-on-year sales growth. Among them, three categories achieved double-digit increases: services/others (17.8 percent), global brands (15.7 percent), and home appliances/culture (11.0 percent).
 
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