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Overall retail sales grow 6.9 percent in September 2018-10-30

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on October 30 that overall retail sales in September posted a year-on-year increase of 6.9 percent thanks to growths in both online and retail sales.
Brick-and-mortar retailers saw a 6.0 percent growth in sales because of the national Chuseok holiday. Last year, the public holiday was in October.

Sales of online retailers increased 8.6 percent, the smallest positive change since October 2017, due to the suspension of delivery services during Korean Thanksgiving.

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 four types of dealers posted growth in sales, with the hypermarket chains leading the expansion.

Sales at the hypermarket chains advanced 8.1 percent as the public holiday contributed to growths in both food sales (10.6 percent) and home appliance/culture sales (10.2 percent).

The convenience store chains experienced a sales expansion of 5.1 percent. This mostly resulted from a 5.7 percent increase in the number of stores and a 6.7 percent growth in food sales on the back of continuously rising demand for imported beers and lunch boxes.

Sales at the department stores achieved growth of 4.7 percent due to increased demand for food (6.7 percent), household goods (9.3 percent), and kids/sports items (5.7 percent). Food items were popular for holiday gift sets and many household goods were on sales promotion.

The SSM operators also saw a 3.9 percent increase in sales, thanks to greater demand for food, which took up 89.3 percent of their total sales.

For online retailers, sales of the nine online sellers posted growth of 6.9 percent and those of the four online shopping intermediaries saw growth of 9.4 percent. Yet, these growths were lower than the average monthly growths between January and August due to the suspension of delivery service during the national holiday.

By product, sales of all seven major categories except for fashion/accessories saw growth. Services/others and food were the leaders among them, expanding 11.8 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

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