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Korea's retail sales up 6.3% in May on online growth

Sales of key retailers in South Korea grew 6.3 percent last month from a year earlier, led by the strong performance in the online sector, government data showed Thursday.

The combined revenue of 26 online and offline retailers reached 10.29 trillion won ($9 billion) in May, compared with 9.68 trillion won the previous year, according to the data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Of the total, 13 offline-based retailers, including department stores, discount chains and convenience stores, rose 2.5 percent on-year.

The comparable figure for 13 online shopping malls -- e-commerce sites and online product sales channels run by big retailers -- jumped 15.2 percent from a year ago, driving up the overall growth.

Convenience stores saw their sales gain 10.5 percent last month, with hypermarkets posting a 1.6 percent on-year growth, the latest data showed.

Online sellers, which mainly refer to social commerce sites and the online units of large retailers, chalked up a 32.1 percent on-year gains in sales. The sales of open markets, such as those run by eBay Korea, climbed 9.4 percent from a year earlier.

The ministry said demand for fruits and beer, fueled by unseasonably hot weather, pushed up offline sales, while online sites fared well, thanks to strong sales of home appliances, such as air conditioners, and apparels. (Yonhap)

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