The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on May 30 that retail sales jumped 7.2 percent to 9.81 trillion won in April, led by a double-digit growth of online purchases.
E-commerce sales, which account for about a third of the total retail sales, surged 15.4 percent in April from a year earlier as demand for summer products and health supplements expanded.
In-store sales increased 3.6 percent as all types of offline retailers posted growths driven by higher demand for home appliances and food associated with hot weather.
By product, all product groups ranging from food and clothing to sports goods and services saw increases in sales with the categories of home appliances/culture and food posting double-digit growths of 12.2 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy estimates monthly retail sales by compiling data from 26 major retailers -- 13 in-store retailers including department stores, hypermarkets, convenient stores, and “super supermarkets (SSMs)”-- as well as 13 online retailers including major online sellers and online sales intermediaries.
The 15.4-percent growth in web-based sales breaks down to a 26.5-percent increase in revenues of nine major online sellers and an 11.5-percent increase in sales of four online sales intermediaries.
The major online sellers saw clothing sales surge 30.2 percent on demand for summer goods amid warm weather, while revenues of the service category soared 46.2 percent on robust sales of travel products thanks to a chain of national holidays in early May. The nine online sellers represented 9.3 percent of the total retail sales in April -- up from 7.9 percent a year earlier.
The double-digit growth in online sales intermediaries’ revenues was driven by a 19.6-percent increase in food sales on promotions for health supplements.
All four categories of in-store retailers recorded higher revenues compared to a year earlier. The sales of three convenient store chains jumped 11.1 percent as the number of stores grew 13.9 percent and hot weather helped boost the sales of food including drinks by 18.1 percent.
The weather factor and air pollution also affected the sales of hypermarkets that expanded 2.3 percent with a 4.5-percent increase in purchases of home appliances including fans and air purifiers.
The revenues of four chains of SSMs, supermarkets owned by large retailers, climbed up 0.9 percent on a 2-percent growth of food sales. Three department store operators together posted a 0.5-percent increase in revenues as various discount promotions helped lift the number of purchases made by 1.8 percent.
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