Retail industry growth slowing to almost zero

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Retail industry growth slowing to almost zero

Due to consumer jitters over the health of the economy, the retail industry is expected to have almost zero growth next year.

Shinsegae Retail Research Institute said yesterday that the domestic retail market next year will grow by 3.4 percent to 231.8 trillion won ($216 billion) in its “2013 Retail Industry Forecast Report.”

The retail market this year grew 3.8 percent from the year before. Considering that inflation is running 3 percent, the growth rate is nearing zero.

The institute gave a gloomy prediction for large discount chains, department stores and supermarket chains with a slow economy, declining consumer confidence and rising household debt.

It was more positive on online shopping malls and convenience stores.

By industry sector, the study estimated that growth rates of large discount store chains and supermarket chains will slow, while online shopping malls and convenience stores will pick up some of that lost business.

Department stores saw double-digit growth rates for three consecutive years from 2009 until 2011, but only saw 4.9 percent growth to 28.4 trillion won in sales this year. Growth next year will be similar.

Discount chains showed record low growth of 1.4 percent with sales of 37.3 trillion won.

By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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