Sales at South Korea’s top department and discount stores have fallen for the second consecutive month.
However, preliminary government data shows the speed of the decline has eased dramatically.
South Korea’s Finance Ministry says sales at Hyundai Department Stores, Lotte Shopping stores and Shinsegae stores in October fell by 0.9 per cent month-on-month – significantly better figure than the 6.3 per cent drop in September.
Year-on-year, sales were down 0.4 per cent, again considerably better than the 10.1 per cent decline in September.
As in many Asian markets, sales of Apple’s new iPhone 6 range have no doubt helped department store sales hold up. September’s sales were impacted by the timing of the holiday season which fell earlier this year in August. Traditionally consumers tighten their belts in the month that follows.