K-Day promotion kickstarts Korean retail sales

The K-Sale Day discount event that kicked off last month contributed to the revival of consumer demand critical for economic growth, South Korea’s government said Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korean retail sales by the country’s 25 major retailers rose 531.3 billion won or 8.4 per cent on-year from November 20 through December 13.

It said sales were bolstered by 11 large manufacturers taking part in the promotional event that lowered prices on consumer electronics, clothing and fashion items.

The rise in sales is good news for Asia’s fourth-largest economy, which has been hurt by a drop in exports this year. The rise in consumer demand has been the main driving force of economic growth from the third quarter onwards.

More than 41,000 shops, belonging to 102 businesses, and 500 traditional markets offered goods at reduced prices during this year’s K-Sale Day event that officially runs through Tuesday. Some traditional markets plan to extend the discount sales event till December 25, Christmas Day.

The ministry said the K-Sale Day pushed up sales at department stores, large discount chains, online shopping malls, electronic appliance outlets and convenience stores during the 24 days tallied.

Sales at department stores, such as Lotte and Shinsegae, shot up 7.8 per cent, with numbers for large discount chains and online shopping malls going up 2.8 per cent and 10.4 per cent, respectively, year on year. The discount chains checked were Lottemart, E-mart and Homeplus.

Electronic appliance outlets moved up 7.3 per cent, and convenience stores jumped 23.6 percent.

The government, which supported the K-Sale Day, said it plans to carefully review the results of this year’s event so as to better plan for next year.

“Focus will be placed on getting more manufacturers to cut prices for goods they make and to better coordinate the preparation for the discounts to be offered with retailers so more benefits can go to consumers,” a ministry source said.

  • Original reporting by Yonhap.

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