STORES | Staff Reporter, Korea

Korea's retail sales grew 6.3% in November

The Korea Sale Festa boosted sales amongst offline stores.

Korea’s overall retail sales rose 6.3% YoY in November, data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) revealed. Sales of physical retailers declined 2.4%, whilst those of online retailers expanded 17%.

Offline stores saw a growth in sales at the beginning of the month due to the Korea Sale Festa, but the sales plunged in the second half due to the COVID-19 surge. Sales at convenience stores expanded 3.3%, boosted by growth in beverages and processed foods sales.

However, “super supermarket” (SSM) operators experienced a sales decline of 9.8% because of a 10.7% fall for agricultural products and fisheries, 6.5% drop for fresh and prepared food, and 7.9% slip for processed foods.

Sales at department store chains also went down 4.3%, with women’s casual apparel (25.2%), miscellaneous goods (24.8%), and men’s clothing (12.1%) recording declines.

Those at hypermarket chains dipped 2.3%, as the resurgence of COVID-19 cases led to reduced outdoor activities. Clothing (23.7%), miscellaneous goods (31.1%), and sports (12.9%) recorded loss in sales.

For online retailers, the Korea Sale Festa and the rise in virus cases led to a stronger demand for food products (46.4%), home appliances (25.6%), and household goods (18.6%). However, services/others and fashion/clothing contracted 9.8% and 0.4%, respectively.

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