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Korea's retail industry grows 15.4% in August 2022-09-28

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on September 28 that Korea’s retail sales in August posted year-on-year growth of 15.4 percent.

Both physical and online retailers achieved growth in sales, up 14.5 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively.

The Ministry releases monthly retail sales figures based on surveys of 25 major retailers. Thirteen of them are physical retailers: three department store chains, three hypermarket chains, three convenience store chains, and four “super supermarket” (SSM) operators. The remaining twelve are online retailers.

Sales at offline stores advanced 14.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Increasing number of travelers from relaxed social distancing and holiday preparations have driven up total retail sales by 15.4 percent.

Hypermarket chains grew 9.9 percent in sales, thanks to the rising number of visitors (number of purchases up by 4.1 percent), as well as continued inflation, Chuseok holiday gifts and travel items.

Sales at SSMs gained 0.3 percent, led by processed food products (up 6.8 percent). Agricultural, livestock and marine products, on the other hand, slid by 2.6 percent.

Meanwhile, sales at department store chains jumped 24.8 percent. Household goods fell (down 13.7 percent), while food and women’s casual climbed 66.5 and 41.9 percent, respectively.

Those at convenience store chains moved up 12.8 percent, led by daily necessities (up 27.9 percent), instant food products (up 19.2 percent) and miscellaneous goods (up 18.5 percent) as school and work commutes increasingly normalized.

Online retail sales expanded 16.4 percent, recording positive growth in cosmetics, food, services fueled by Chuseok holiday delivery services and special promotions. E-coupon gifts were popular online, boosting food (up 27.8 percent) and cosmetics (up 23.1 percent) considerably. Summer holidays and relaxed social distancing continued to fuel travel and performance purchases (services/other up by 21.9 percent).