The Korea Herald


Sales at department stores rise, but drop at discount outlets in May

By 김정보

Published : June 20, 2013 - 09:43

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Sales at the country's major department stores grew slightly from a year earlier but sales of three major discount outlet chains here continued to drop last month, the government said Thursday.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, combined sales of three department store chains rose 1 percent from the same month last year in May.

The ministry did not reveal the actual amount, but said May sales marked a 7.1 percent gain from the previous month, when the department store chains posted a 1.9 percent on-year drop. The three department store chains are Hyundai, Shinsegae and Lotte.

The combined sales at the three discount outlet chains – Lotte Mart, E-Mart and Homeplus -- dropped 4.3 percent from a year earlier, though the May figure marked a 12.8 percent surge from a month earlier, according to the ministry.

The drop in overall sales of discount outlets was partly caused by rising prices of foodstuff, including vegetables, whose sales dropped 8.7 percent on-year, the ministry said. Sales of home appliances and cultural products rose 2.9 percent from a year earlier.

The ministry also attributed the drop in sales at discount outlets to a drop in the number of shoppers.

In May, the total number of purchases at discount outlet stores shrank 4.8 percent from the same month last year, though the average amount of each purchase rose 0.6 percent, according to the ministry.

Department stores saw the exact opposite pattern with their total number of purchases growing 3.5 percent on-year and the average amount of each purchase shrinking 2.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the ministry said sales at convenience stores increased 8.5 percent on-year in April, partly on an increase in the number of stores. (Yonhap News)