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Korean retail industry sees 7% increase in sales in August 2019-09-30

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on September 29 that the Korean retail industry saw a 7.0 percent year-on-year increase in sales in August. Sales at brick-and-mortar stores advanced 2.1 percent, while sales at online retailers rose 15.2 percent.
These results are based on surveys of 26 major retailers. Half of them are offline 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.

The rise in sales at physical stores is attributable to improved performance at convenience stores and department stores. Hypermarkets and SSMs, on the other hand, recorded fewer sales.

Convenience stores experienced a sales improvement of 3.5 percent as more consumers looked for hangover cures and over-the-counter medicines. The drink segment saw a sales growth of 3.6 percent thanks to greater sales of alcoholic beverages.

Sales at department stores grew 5.7 percent. Sales of global brands jumped 23.2 percent due to the early distribution of new products, and sales of household goods gained 10.4 percent on the back of sales promotions for large furniture.

SSMs posted a 1.4 percent decline in sales. Food sales fell 1.3 percent because of lower demand for fruits, drinks, and ice cream. Sales of daily necessities decreased 4.8 percent as more consumers turned to online shopping.

Sales at hypermarkets inched down 0.8 percent largely because sales of home appliances and clothing contracted 8.2 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.

For digital retailers, both online sellers and online shopping intermediaries posted sales growth.

Sales at web-based sellers expanded 10.6 percent. Sales of home appliances leaped 47.4 percent thanks to greater demand for small appliances. Earlier Chuseok holidays compared to last year led to a 10.6 percent increase in food sales.

Online shopping intermediaries saw a sales increase of 17.1 percent. Food sales rose 38.4 percent due to Chuseok holiday gift sets. Sales of household goods grew 18.0 percent on the back of pet-related products.

By product, a year-on-year sales increase was seen in all categories: global brands (up 23.2 percent), home appliances (up 11.1 percent), household goods (up 9.7 percent), service/others (up 7.6 percent), food (up 5.6 percent), kids/sports (up 2.3 percent), and fashion/accessories (up 1.6 percent).

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