NEWS |

South Korea's Retail Industry Grows 15.4% In August 2022

Written by Amit Sharma, Community Development Manager

South Korea's retail sales in August posted year-on-year growth of 15.4%, thus continuing six consecutive months of year-on-year growth. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), both physical and online retailers achieved growth in sales, up 14.5 per cent and 16.4 per cent, respectively. The spurt in retail sales in August is likely driven by an increase in people's outdoor activities amid eased antivirus curbs and preparations for the Chuseok holiday.



MOTIE releases monthly retail sales figures based on surveys of 25 major retailers. 13 are physical retailers: three department store chains, three hypermarket chains, three convenience store chains, and four "super supermarket" (SSM) operators. The remaining 12 are online retailers. 

The combined sales of 25 major offline and online retailers came to KRW14.61 trillion (US$10.21 billion) last month, up 15.4 per cent from KRW12.7 trillion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by MOTIE.


Sales at offline stores grew 14.5 per cent as demand for luxury goods, clothing, and other fashion items logged solid growth. In addition, the increasing number of travellers from relaxed social distancing and holiday preparations have increased total retail sales by 15.4 per cent. Within offline stores, convenience store chains such as 7-Eleven, Ministop, and emart24 rose by 12.8 per cent, led by demand for daily necessities, instant food products and miscellaneous as school and work commute become increasingly normalized.


Meanwhile, sales at department store chains such as Shinsegae, E-mart and Lotte Mart jumped 24.8 per cent, backed by a surge in food and women's casual, which climbed 66.5 and 41.9 per cent, respectively.


Hypermarket chains grew 9.9 per cent in sales, thanks to the rising number of visitors as well as continued inflation, Chuseok holiday gifts and travel items. Sales at SSMs gained, led by processed food products, whereas agricultural, livestock and marine products slid by 2.6 per cent.


Online retail sales expanded 16.4 per cent, recording positive growth in cosmetics, food, and services fuelled by Chuseok holiday delivery services and special promotions. E-coupon gifts were popular online, boosting food and cosmetics considerably. Summer holidays and relaxed social distancing continued to fuel travel and performance purchases.



The lift is the sixth consecutive monthly rise in retail sales in South Korea, signalling a sense of economic recovery in the nation.

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