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Korea’s retail sales increase 4.4% in July 2020-08-31

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on August 28 that Korea’s overall retail sales in July saw a year-on-year growth of 4.4 percent.

Sales of offline retailers edged down 2.1 percent, and those of online retailers went up 13.4 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.

Physical retailers experienced a drop in sales due to the long rainy season and the decreased use of public facilities. All store types, except for convenient stores, posted year-on-year declines.

Sales at SSM operators fell 11.9 percent. The number of visitors decreased (down 15.5 percent) due to the rainy season, and the sale of seasonal fruits such as peaches, watermelons, and grapes went down significantly, leading to a contraction in agricultural, fisheries, and livestock products (down 11.9 percent).

Department store chains experienced a sales decrease of 2.1 percent. Sales of global brands (up 32.5 percent) and home appliances (up 11.6 percent) advanced, but women’s casual (down 27.2 percent), kids/sports (down 18.3 percent), and miscellaneous goods (down 17.9 percent) shrank because of reduced outdoor activities and travels.

Hypermarket chains saw a year-on-year decline of 5.5 percent in sales. Demand for fashion products and water play equipment items went down, and clothing (down 21.2 percent), sports (down 24.4 percent), and miscellaneous goods (down 29.1 percent) contracted.

Meanwhile, sales at the convenience store chains increased 3.7 percent. Sales of daily necessities posted a growth of 14.3 percent thanks to strong sales of umbrellas and dehumidifiers during the rainy season, and miscellaneous goods also went up 8.5 percent due to increased demand for gift cards.

Sales at online retailers gained 13.4 percent. Food products expanded 46.0 percent due to the sales promotion events of agricultural and fishery products. Household goods needed for indoor stay also grew 26.3 percent. On the other hand, travel-related products continued to decrease, leading to a fall in services/others category (down 16.3 percent).

By product, home appliances/culture (up 7.4 percent), kids/sports (up 0.8 percent), food (up 6.0 percent), household goods (14.6 percent) and global brands (up 32.5 percent) rose in sales, while fashion/accessories (down 6.8 percent) and services/others (down 5.1 percent) contracted in sales.

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