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Korean department store sales rise

Korean department store sales are on the rise.

Figures released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy today (June 29) show a second consecutive monthly increase in May, boosted by food and apparel.

But the figures should be taken with caution: the impact of the MERS outbreak in Korea won’t be reflected in the figures until June, when consumers started staying home to reduce the risk of infection.

Sales Trend of Korea’s Major Retail Channels for May reports a 3.1 per cent increase in department store sales by the major players and a more modest 0.5 per cent increase from discount department stores.

In April, sales rose 1.3 per cent and 0.02 per cent respectively.

Analysts attribute May’s increases to sales of luxury branded goods, womens casual apparel, childrenswear and golfing equipment.

Food drove discount store sales, fuelled by discounting promotions, but childrenswear and television sales subsided.

Convenience stores continued to thrive, posting a 31.5 per cent growth, largely due to cigarette price increases and more than usual sales of instant and fresh foods.

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