The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on August 30 that overall retail sales in July 2018 expanded 7.8 percent compared to July 2017, as online and offline retailers both saw growth.
Online sales jumped 17.8 percent, seeing the biggest year-on-year growth since January 2018.
Sales at brick-and-mortar retailers also climbed, 2.3 percent year-on-year, led by sales growth at convenience stores and department stores.
All categories of retailers except for convenience stores saw a fewer number of purchases due to a fewer number of holidays during the period in 2018 compared to the period a year earlier, but the average size 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.
Among in-store retailers, sales at convenience store chains jumped 8.9 percent from a year ago. The contributors included growth in the number of physical stores (7.1 percent) and a record heat wave across the country which led to growth in food sales (9.9 percent). Sales per store also saw slight growth of 1.7 percent.
Department store chains saw their sales improve by 2.9 percent. Household goods sales jumped 9.2 percent with purchases of cooling electronics, due to the heat, leading the growth in this category.
Sales at SSMs inched up 1.8 percent with food sales, which account for the highest proportion (88.7 percent) of total sales at such retailers, coming in at the top thanks to higher demand for outings and a wider variety of products on sale.
Hypermarket chains saw a 2.5 percent sales decline. Sales across all categories fell, including food (down 0.4 percent), failing to offset the growth seen in home appliance sales (up 1.6 percent), such as air conditioning units.
At web-based retailers, the nine online sellers posted year-on-year sales growth of 21.5 percent and the four online shopping intermediaries saw growth of 16.3 percent, continuing their upward trends. The double-digit sales growth at online sellers was largely led by the services/other category (up 37.6 percent), such as guided tours due to the heat, and food (up 29.9 percent), which includes health supplements. Sales at the intermediaries was primarily driven by home appliances/electronics (up 20.3 percent), as sales of seasonal home appliances grew.
By product category, all seven major categories recorded year-on-year sales growth, with the largest contributions coming from home appliances/culture (up 15.7 percent) and services (up 10.9 percent).