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Retail sales rise over 11 percent in 2021 in Korea

Retail sales in South Korea rose 11.3 percent year-on-year in 2021 on the back of strong appetite for consumption and growing online transactions amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the industry ministry said on 27th January.

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The combined sales of local offline retailers climbed 7.5 percent on-year from the previous year, and those of online stores grew 15.7 percent, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Department stores showed stellar performance, with their sales jumping 24.1 percent, on the strong demand for luxury items, sporting goods and those for children, according to the data.

Sales of imported luxury products have been rising sharply amid the new coronavirus due to so-called revenge shopping, which refers to consumers seeking comfort by purchasing goods while social activities and travel are restricted.

Convenience stores also saw their sales up 6.8 percent on-year, as more people purchased daily necessities near their homes.

But sales of discount chain stores and smaller supermarkets fell 2.3 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively, according to the data.

Instead, more consumers had turned to online platforms amid the pandemic and antivirus restrictions.

Sales of groceries on online platforms surged 23.8 percent, and the food delivery and other service segment saw sales spike 37.9 percent, according to the data.

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Sales of cosmetics and electric and electronic goods also rose 15.3 percent and 13.6 percent, respectively, last year, the data showed.

(Source: Korean Herald)