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Online retail sales post double-digit growth of 13.3 percent in August 2018-09-28

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on September 28 that online retail sales in August increased 13.3 percent compared to a year earlier on the back of stronger demand for most item categories.
Offline retail sales also went up 2.9 percent thanks to sales growth at convenience stores and super supermarkets (SSMs). This and the double-digit growth in web-based retail sales helped the overall retail sales expand 6.5 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.

Among the brick-and-mortar retailers, convenience stores saw the biggest sales growth of 8.4 percent. This is attributable to an increased number of stores and higher demand for food due to the heat wave in the summer. Sales per store also advanced 2.0 percent.

Sales at SSMs climbed up 4.6 percent due to growth in demand for food, such as fruits and frozen desserts, during the hot summer season.

Sales at department store chains also increased 2.4 percent. Household goods (up 9.2 percent) and food (up 4.4 percent) were mostly responsible for growth.

Hypermarket chains, however, saw a decrease of 1.2 percent in sales. While their food sales expanded 2.8 percent, their household goods sales contracted 12.0 percent.

For online retailers, the nine online sellers posted growth of 13.7 percent and the four online shopping intermediaries saw growth of 13.2 percent. The double-digit growth at the online sellers was largely led by services (up 42.4 percent), such as trips and concerts, and food (26.0 percent) and that at the intermediaries was primarily driven by home appliances/electronics (up 14.8 percent), including fans.

By product, sales of most categories went up, led by services/others (up 11.8 percent) and home appliances/culture (up 10.1 percent). Meanwhile, both fashion accessories and kids/sports goods went down 0.8 percent.

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