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Korean retail industry sees sales growth of 4.1% in October 2019-11-29

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on November 28 that overall retail sales in Korea improved 4.1 percent from a year earlier. Sales at web-based retailers saw a growth of 12.5 percent, but those at brick-and-mortar stores inched down 1.1 percent.
These findings are based on surveys of 26 major retailers. Half of them are offline 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.

Among the types of offline retailers, the convenience stores were the only one that posted a sales increase (up 5.4 percent). Demand grew for over-the-counter medications and beverages such as coffee.

Sales at the SSMs edged down 1.3 percent as sales of household goods, such as heat insulators, fell 7.1 percent due to the less cold weather compared to last year.

The department stores experienced a sales decline of 3.0 percent. The warmer weather dragged down sales of women’s suits (down 9.5 percent), women’s casual clothing (down 22.0 percent), men’s clothing (down 6.9 percent), and kids/sports (down 12.7 percent).

At the hypermarkets, sales went down 4.8 percent mostly because of falling sales of home appliances (down 9.3 percent) and household goods (down 7.2 percent). More consumers chose online shopping or other means to buy their everyday necessities.

Regarding web-based retailers, both online sellers and online shopping intermediaries experienced a rise in sales.

Sales at the online sellers gained 6.7 percent due to growing demand for home appliances (up 20.0 percent) and services/others (up 14.7 percent). More small appliances were sold, and more tour packages were on promotion.

The online shopping intermediaries saw a sales growth of 14.9 percent. This is attributable to food sales, which rose 40.2 percent, thanks to expanded same-day delivery services.

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