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Korea’s retail sales in June grow 4.6% 2020-07-30

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on July 30 that Korea’s overall retail sales in June saw a year-on-year growth of 4.6 percent.

Sales of offline retailers edged down 3.0 percent, and those of online retailers expanded 15.9 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 SSM operators. The other half are online retailers.

For physical retailers, sales continued to decrease as offline store visits were hit by COVID-19, but the sales decline eased in June. All store types, except for convenient stores, posted drop in sales.

SSM operators experienced a sales decrease of 14.7 percent. Contractions were seen in fresh and prepared food (down 10.6 percent) and agricultural, fisheries, and livestock products (down 16.1 percent).

Sales at the department store chains edged down 3.4 percent. Sales of global brands (up 22.1 percent) and home appliances (up 20.6 percent) advanced, but sales of clothing were weak because people preferred to stay indoors. Women’s casual (down 24.1 percent) and men’s clothing (down 12.5 percent) sales were lower.

Hypermarket chains fell 5.3 percent in sales. Clothing (down 10.7 percent), sports (down 6.1 percent), miscellaneous goods (down 5.5 percent), and food (down 7.1 percent) led to the reduction.

Meanwhile, sales at the convenience store chains increased 2.4 percent. Daily necessities posted a growth of 13.6 percent on the back of stronger demand for sanitary products. Cigarettes also grew 6.0 percent as duty-free cigarette demand moved to convenience stores.

Sales at online retailers gained 15.9 percent. This was attributable to the rise in food products (up 37.2 percent), household goods (up 27.4 percent), and home appliances (up 26.6 percent). However, services/others (down 29.1 percent) went down because consumption of travel-related products continued to decrease amid the coronavirus pandemic.

By product, home appliances/culture (up 22.9 percent), kids/sports (up 5.0 percent), food (up 1.3 percent), household goods (17.4 percent) and global brands (up 22.1 percent) expanded while fashion/accessories (down 2.8 percent) and services/others (down 10.9 percent) shrank.

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