Retail in Asia

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S. Korea’s retail sales gain 8.4 percent in October

South Korea’s major retailers including department stores and online shopping malls saw their sales rise in October from a year earlier on the back of a government-led discount event, government data showed Tuesday.

The combined sales of department stores, large outlets and Internet shops increased 8.4 percent on-year last month, with those of offline stores gaining 6.3 percent and those of online retailers jumping 13.2 percent, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The ministry attributed the nationwide shopping event, the Korea Sale Festa, which ran through October, as the cause behind the uptick.

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It was designed to tie up the retail industry with the tourism and cultural sectors in line with the major Chinese holiday season, with some 200 retailers offering discounts and promotions to attract local and foreign shoppers.

The ministry data showed that sales of the top three department stores — Lotte, Shinsegae and Hyundai — rose 6 percent on-year last month and convenience stores saw their performances leap 15.5 percent. Large discount stores including E-Mart and Lotte Mart posted a 0.9-percent gain in their October sales, turning around from a 3.5-percent drop in the previous month.

Offline shops enjoyed a sharp rise, with sales of open markets and shopping malls soaring 18.6 percent and 14.2 percent on-year, respectively.

(Source: Yonhap News)