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Retail sales in South Korea rise as consumers urged to spend

South Korea retail sales

Retail sales in South Korea increased 8.4 per cent in October from a year earlier on the back of the pandemic and consumption-boosting events.

The combined sales of 26 major offline and online retailers reached 12.01 trillion won (US$10.7 billion) last month, up from 11.08 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Online platforms led the overall growth, with their revenue advancing a whopping 17.2 per cent over the period, as people continued to purchase daily necessities from home amid the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Sales of foodstuffs from online shops jumped 42.1 per cent on-year in October, while those of electronics climbed 27.9 per cent. Sales of furniture and other consumer goods moved up 18.6 per cent over the period, according to the data.

Revenue from tour packages and concert tickets, however, dropped 18.1 per cent amid the country’s social distancing scheme.

Sales from offline stores, meanwhile, also edged up 2.1 per cent over the cited period as people took advantage of various discount events from department stores and supermarkets, the data showed.

Local convenience stores saw their sales move up 2.9 per cent on-year in October on brisk sales of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

Sales from department stores advanced 4.2 per cent, with those of outdoor equipments rising 10.2 per cent on the back of discount events.

Over the period, sales from supermarkets increased 2.3 per cent as well on electronics and toys, the data showed.

In 2019, retail sales in South Korea rose 4.8 per cent year on year. The revenue of online shopping malls advanced 14.2 per cent, while that of offline stores shed 0.9 per cent.

  • Original reporting by Yonhap, via Korea Bizwire.

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