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Online retail sales increase 28.3 percent in October 2018-12-03

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on November 30 that online retail sales in October increased 28.3 percent compared to the same period of last year due to greater demand for travel and concerts in the fall.
Offline retailers, on the other hand, saw a decrease of 3.6 percent in sales mainly because of a base effect caused by last year’s Korean Thanksgiving Day that fell in October. This year, the Chuseok public holiday was in September.
Despite the slight downturn of brick-and-mortar retail sales, the double-digit growth of online retail sales led to an overall retail growth of 6.7 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 offline retailers, every type of retailer except for the hypermarket chains experienced expansion.

Sales at the convenience store chains improved 4.7 percent on the back of the increasing number of stores and rising sales of food, including instant meals. Sales per store, however, inched down 0.2 percent.

The department store chains saw a 1.2 percent rise in sales. A 5.2 percent decrease in food sales was offset by the sales of kids/sports and household goods that increased 2.4 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
Sales at the SSM operators inched up 1.0 percent thanks to greater demand for food, especially fruits. Food sales, which made up 89.4 percent of their total sales, gained 2.5 percent.

The hypermarket chains experienced a sales contraction of 14.3 percent as sales of all product categories decreased.

For online retailers, sales of the nine online sellers grew 31.1 percent. This growth was driven by stronger demand for travel and concerts in the service sector and improved food sales. The four online shopping intermediaries recorded a sales growth of 27.2 percent, led by home appliance/electronics and household goods/furniture.
By product, sales of all seven major categories expanded. Among them, the home appliances/culture category saw the biggest sales growth of 15.2 percent, followed by the service category that increased 15.0 percent in sales.

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