South Korean retail sales rose by 2 per cent during May, largely due to increased online shopping, according to new Ministry of Trade figures.
The year-on-year increase was strongly influenced by purchases of food and sanitary items online due to the effect of social-distancing requirements related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministry polled 26 major retailers in both online and offline categories to collect the data, which showed combined sales of US$9.65 billion last month, an increase over $9.506 billion during the same period last year.
Online platforms saw a 13.5-per-cent revenue rise during the period, with online sales of food increasing almost 39 per cent, and daily items and furniture going up 22.7 per cent. Offline shopping – with the exception of convenience stores – continued to show a decline, with a 6.1-per-cent drop in sales.
Year-on-year sales figures for last year showed an increase of 4.8 per cent over 2018.