Retail sales in South Korea advanced 8.5 percent in September from a year earlier as online shops enjoyed brisk sales amid the new coronavirus pandemic, data showed Sunday.
The combined sales of 26 major offline and online retailers reached 11.9 trillion won ($10 billion) last month, up from 11.16 trillion won posted last year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Online platforms led the overall growth, with their revenue advancing 20 percent over the period, the data showed, apparently as people purchased more goods through such stores amid the country's social distancing scheme.
Sales of foodstuffs from online stores jumped 60.2 percent over the cited period, and those of electronic goods and daily products advanced 26 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively, as well.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, sales of tour packages and concert tickets dipped 12.3 percent, while those of fashion items also moved down 1.6 percent, the data showed.
Sales from offline stores edged up 1 percent over the cited period as people purchased more gifts to celebrate the Chuseok holiday, which ran from late September to early October.
Convenience stores saw their sales improve 2.3 percent, tracking better sales of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
Sales from supermarkets also climbed 5.3 percent on the back of gift sales.
Department stores, on the other hand, saw their sales drop 6.2 percent due to sluggish demand for fashion goods.
In the first six months of the year, the combined retail sales reached 66.79 trillion won, up 3.7 percent from the previous year.
Shipments by online stores advanced 17.5 percent, while those of offline stores dipped 6 percent.
In 2019, retail sales in South Korea rose 4.8 percent on-year.
The revenue of online shopping malls advanced 14.2 percent, while that of offline stores shed 0.9 percent. (Yonhap)