South Korea retail sales rise

Preliminary data from leading department and discount stores in October reveals South Korean retail sales are recovering post-Mers.

Combined sales last month at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co jumped 17.4 per cent year on year.

That’s a huge improvement on the 2.8 per cent department stores achieved in September and the seven per cent rise in discount department stores.

The preliminary data from the Finance Ministry shows clearly a bounce back following the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) scare which caused tourists to travel elsewhere and locals to stay at home in fear of catching the viral epidemic.

Figures released by Statistics Korea last week show South Korea retail sales rose to their highest level in four months in September, up 4.1 per cent on September 2014.

Department store and discount store sales started to slide in June when the Mers crisis peaked.

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