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Sales of Korean retail industry grow 7.6 percent in March 2019-04-28

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on April 28 that Korea’s online and offline retailers saw a year-on-year sales increase of 7.6 percent in March. Brick-and-mortar stores experienced a sales growth of 1.3 percent, and sales at online retailers grew by 18.2 percent.
The Ministry releases monthly retail sales figures based on surveys of 26 major retailers. Half of them are brick-and-mortar 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 major online sellers and four online shopping intermediaries.

For offline retailers, all types except for hypermarkets posted growth.

Sales at convenience stores improved 2.9 percent as the number of stores increased by 4.3 percent. Expanded sales of food, including instant meals and dairy drinks, also contributed to the growth.

SSM operators saw a sales increase of 2.5 percent as food sales improved. Sales increases were seen in fresh and prepared food; processed food; and agricultural products, fisheries, and livestock products.

Sales at department stores also rose 2.3 percent. Household goods, like products used to filter fine dust, were in greater demand. Global brands also gained popularity because of their seasonal sales promotions and more weddings that took place.

Hypermarkets experienced a sales decrease of 1 percent as a result of declines in sales of non-food items such as clothing, household goods, and miscellaneous goods.

For web-based retailers, sales improved at both online sellers and online shopping intermediaries.

The nine online sellers saw a sales growth of 12.6 percent on the back of growing demand for fine dust-filtering products and package tours in the spring season.

Sales at the four online shopping intermediaries advanced 20.5 percent due to enhanced delivery services that boosted food sales. Sales of services/others also increased as more weekend package tours were sold.

By product, all item categories posted year-on-year growths in sales, except for fashion/accessories which inched down 0.6 percent. Home appliances/culture recorded the highest growth rate of 18.1 percent, followed by global brands (up 15.7 percent), services/others (up 9.9 percent), household goods (up 8.1 percent), kids/sports (up 6.2 percent), and food (up 5.9 percent).

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