The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on October 28 that Korea’s retail sales in September increased 8.2 percent.
Both offline and online sales expanded, up 3.3 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.
The Ministry releases monthly retail sales figures based on surveys of 26 major retailers. Half of them are physical retailers: three department store chains, three hypermarket chains, three convenience store chains, and four “super supermarket” (SSM) operators. The other half are online retailers.
Sales at brick-and-mortar stores experienced a 3.3 percent growth.
Those at hypermarket chains fell 13.3 percent as the number of stores decreased. Sales of most items went down.
SSMs saw a sales decline of 16.1 percent as the number of stores decreased and online sales continued to grow.
Meanwhile, sales at department store chains climbed up 24.3 percent. ‘Revenge shopping’ trends due to the prolonged pandemic situation led to the rise. Global brands (up 38.1 percent), kids/sports (up 36.9 percent) and household goods (up 17.4 percent) saw significant increases.
Those at convenience store chains also went up 9.0 percent. Beverages and processed foods (up 14.1 percent) and daily necessities (up 11.5 percent) posted growth. This is attributable to increased sales of alcoholic beverages and snacks as well as the rise in single-person households that did not visit home during the holiday.
Online retailers experienced a 14.5 percent expansion in sales.
Food products (up 17.1 percent), home appliances (up 9.6 percent) and cosmetics (up 19.9 percent) increased thanks to robust sales of holiday gift sets, and services/others (up 44.9 percent) also improved on the back of e-coupon and travel package sales.