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Overall retail sales in Korea increase 5% in June 2019-07-30

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on July 30 that Korea’s overall retail sales in June grew 5.0 percent compared to the same period last year.
Sales of offline retailers inched up 0.7 percent, and those of online retailers advanced 11.7 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 super supermarket (SSM) operators. The other half are online retailers: nine major online sellers and four online shopping intermediaries.

For physical retailers, convenience stores and department stores experienced sales improvement, but hypermarkets and SSMs didn’t.

Sales at convenience stores expanded 3.0 percent. Food sales gained 3.5 percent, thanks to greater demand for various coffee products and sandwiches. Korean-made cigarettes also attracted more consumers, contributing to the increase.

Department stores saw a 4.1 percent increase in sales on the back of the growing popularity of global brands (up 23.6 percent) and household goods (up 12.6 percent).

Meanwhile, sales at SSMs edged down 1.0 percent as customers shifted to other means of shopping for non-food items (down 6.2 percent). Sales of agricultural, fishery, and livestock products also saw a slight decrease of 0.8 percent because grain prices increased.

Sales at hypermarkets fell 3.9 percent. Demand decreased for home appliances (down 7.3 percent), sports items (down 11.0 percent), and food (down 0.8 percent).

For digital retailers, sales increased in both online sellers and online shopping intermediaries.

Online sellers posted an 8.9 percent growth in sales. Seasonal appliances and kitchen appliances were popular with consumers, boosting the sales of home appliances by 30.5 percent. Sales of service and others rose 12.3 percent due in part to sales promotion for the summer vacation.

Sales at online shopping intermediaries jumped 12.8 percent. Sales of food products grew 35.5 percent largely because of enhanced delivery services and a greater variety of items offered. Sales of household goods also enhanced 15.9 percent as those of pet-care items were on the rise.

By product, sales of all categories recorded year-on-year increases, except for fashion/accessories (down 0.4 percent). The highest sales growth rate was seen in global brands (up 23.6 percent), followed by home appliances (up 9.4 percent), household goods (up 6.4 percent), food (up 4.5 percent), service/others (up 3.9 percent), and kids/sports (up 2.5 percent).

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