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Retail sales up in Nov. on nationwide sales event

Retail sales in South Korea (Yonhap)
Retail sales in South Korea (Yonhap)
Retail sales in South Korea moved up 6.3 percent in November from a year earlier on the back of the nationwide consumption-boosting events aimed at overcoming the economic jitters from the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

The combined sales of 26 major offline and online retailers reached 12.41 trillion won ($11.2 billion) last month, up from 11.68 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The annual Korea Sale FESTA kicked off for a 15-day run on Nov. 1, with around 1,800 manufacturers, retailers and other businesses joining the event. The government hoped to make its largest shopping event the equivalent to America's Black Friday for South Korean and foreign shoppers.

On the back of the event, online platforms saw their sales jump 17 percent over the period.

The increase also came as more people continued to purchase daily necessities from home amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Sales of food from online shops jumped 46.4 percent on-year, and those of electronics and daily items moved up 25.6 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively, according to the data.

Due to the social distancing scheme, however, sales of tour packages and related services dipped 9.8 percent.

Sales from offline stores, meanwhile, moved down 2.4 percent amid the growing concerns over the rising COVID-19 cases in the country, offsetting the gains from the Korea Sale FESTA.

Local convenience stores saw their sales move up 3.3 percent on-year in November as more consumers purchased alcoholic drinks and snacks.

Sales from department stores shed 4.3 percent, as their revenue from female fashion items plunged 25.2 percent.

With more people avoiding outdoor activities, sales from supermarkets decreased 2.3 percent, with the demand for clothes and sports equipment sharply losing ground on-year, the data also showed. (Yonhap)
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