Retail sales up 7.5 pct in September amid growing outdoor activities

October 31, 2022

Retail sales in South Korea grew 7.5 percent on-year in September on an increase in people’s outdoor activities amid eased antivirus curbs, data showed Monday.

The combined sales of 25 major offline and online retailers came to 14.21 trillion won (US$9.98 billion) last month, compared with 13.2 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

It marked the seventh consecutive month of on-year rise, though the growth slowed down from the previous month’s on-year growth of 15.4 percent.

Sales from offline stores rose 6 percent in September on solid demand for luxury goods, fashion items and sporting goods.

Of the offline stores, department stores saw their sales advance 8.5 percent and sales of convenience stores went up 10.6 percent in September.

But sales at discount chain stores, such as E-mart and Lotte Mart, inched down 0.3 percent on-year on dwindling demand for everyday items and home appliances. Smaller supermarkets also saw their sales inch down 0.1 percent on-year, the data showed.

Sales from online platforms jumped 9.1 percent from a year earlier last month to come to 6.67 trillion won over the continued spread of the contactless shopping trend amid the prolonged pandemic.

Among categories, tourism and other services saw their sales jump 30.8 percent as restrictions for international travelers over the COVID-19 pandemic have further eased.

Those of cosmetics and foodstuffs via online platforms also rose 12.5 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively, the data showed.

Online platforms accounted for 46.9 percent of the total sales in September, up from 46.2 percent a year ago, according to the ministry.

This file photo taken Sept. 12, 2022, shows people visiting a shopping mall in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This file photo taken Sept. 12, 2022, shows people visiting a shopping mall in Seoul. (Yonhap)