The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on August 30 that retail sales advanced 3.6 percent to $10.2 trillion won in July from a year earlier.
Web-based sales, which account for about a third of the total retail sales, rose by 4.4 percent year-on-year, and in-store sales grew 3.2 percent.
Growth in online retail sales moderated after five consecutive months of double-digit expansion due to decrease in revenues of online sales intermediaries. Brick-and-mortar sales expanded on higher food revenues thanks to demand for seasonal fruits.
Across all types of retailers, revenues in most product categories except the children/sports and service/miscellaneous categories grew. Revenues in the home appliance/culture category surged 11.7 percent, while food sales jumped 9 percent.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy estimates monthly retail sales by surveying data from 26 major retailers. They include 13 in-store retailers including three department store chains, three hypermarket chains, three convenient store chains, and four “super supermarkets (SSMs)” as well as 13 online retailers including nine major online sellers and four online sales intermediaries.
A breakdown of web-based sales showed that revenues of the nine online sellers, which make up 10 percent of the total retail sales, soared 30.3 percent, marking the third consecutive month of growth exceeding 30 percent. This was driven by a 53.5-percent increase in sales of home appliances and electronic goods as well as a 35.2-percent rise in food sales on seasonal demand.
Revenues of four online sales intermediaries, retailers operating between buyers and sellers, contracted 3.6 percent with slower services sales due to the decrease in discount promotions for travel products.
All types of retailers with physical stores except department store chains posted growths in sales. Revenues of three convenient store chains surged 11.1 percent on a 15.2-percent increase in food sales, which was drive by demand for drinks and frozen desserts amid hot weather. Convenient store sales also accelerated on a 14.8-percent increase in the number of stores although revenues per store declined 3.3 percent.
A 3.2-percent increase in food sales contributed to a 2.2-percent growth in revenues of four chains of SSMs, supermarkets owned by large retailers. Sales of three hypermarket chains climbed up 1.7 percent on larger demand for food and home appliances including fans and dehumidifiers.
Revenues of three department store chains inched down 1.3 percent as traffic contracted 0.4 percent.
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