South Korean retail sales rise as Covid-19 crisis eases

South Korean retail sales rose by 3.9 percent year on year during April.

The nation’s retail industry in general has benefitted from increasing demand in the e-commerce sector brought on by changes in consumer behavior in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, despite a major hit to offline retailers.

Figures released by Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy showed combined South Korean retail sales by major companies hit US$8.74 billion last month, up from $8.39 billion during the same period last year.

Offline retailers experienced a 5.5 percent drop in sales during the same month, compared to last year’s results.

While sales from department stores, large supermarkets, and convenience stores dropped 14.8 percent, 2.6 percent, and 1.9 percent respectively, online retailers selling food and daily necessities saw sales increase by 16.9 percent.

Total sales of food products increased by 56.4 percent during the month, while clothes sales dropped 8.8 percent.

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