South Korea’s major department stores and discount chains saw their sales rise sharply in July from a year earlier, government data showed on Aug 30.
The combined sales of three department stores — Hyundai, Lotte and Shinsegae — advanced 7 percent on-year last month, while those of major discount retailers — E-mart, Lotte Mart and Homeplus — gained 2.1 percent during the same period last year, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
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Sales of air conditioners soared 11.9 percent at department stores and 9.4 percent at discount outlets amid a scorching heat wave that hit the country.
The ministry said sales went up as the consumer sentiment index, compiled by the Bank of Korea, reached 101 in July, up from 99 a month earlier, with the reading above 100 meaning optimists outnumber pessimists.
The increased number of holidays by two days from a year earlier also lent support to the uptick in retail sales, added the ministry.
Sales at convenience stores jumped 15.4 percent on-year last month, boosted by a dramatic rise in food sales, mostly instant food, while sales at super supermarkets, mostly run by large retailers, slid 2.7 percent on-year, the data showed.
(Source: The Korea Herald)