South Korean retail sales rise in January

South Korean retail sales rose in January based on an increased demand for holiday gifts and sanitation items.

Sales were 6.6 per cent up on the same period the previous year, with current concerns about the recent coronavirus outbreak fuelling purchases of hygiene-related products such as hand sanitiser, and an early Lunar New Year holiday bringing festive spending into January.

According to a Yonhap report, sales results for 26 major retailers were aggregated and compared to last year’s figures. The combined group netted US$9.68 billion in sales this January compared with $9.08 billion last year.

Despite the rise in sales, retailers in products used for outdoor activities and clothing sellers saw distinct drops in sales as consumers have remained indoors to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.


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