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Retail sales rise 8.2% in Jan. on robust online performance

Feb. 27, 2024 - 11:16 By Yonhap
A customer shops for groceries at a supermarket in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Retail sales in South Korea advanced 8.2 percent on-year in January following the robust performance of online platforms, the industry ministry said Tuesday.

The combined sales of 25 major offline and online retailers came to 15.7 trillion won ($11.78 billion) last month, compared with 14.5 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Offline store sales edged down 0.3 percent last month, as the Lunar New Year holiday fell in February this year, in contrast to 2023, when it occurred in January.

Sales from department stores gained 0.7 percent, driven by imported luxury goods. Convenience stores also saw their sales move up 6.1 percent over the period, led by ready-to-eat products.

Supermarkets' sales, on the other hand, plunged 9.2 percent on-year in January.

Sales from online platforms, in contrast, shot up 16.8 percent on-year in January, the sharpest rate since the 19.7 percent rise tallied in October 2021, on the back of strong demand for food and daily necessities.

Consumers' demand for electronics especially gained 13.2 percent during the period, following the release of new smartphones.

Online platforms accounted for 53.6 percent of total sales in January, up from 49.7 percent a year earlier, the ministry said. (Yonhap)