Online retail sales healthy in August, but offline suffers

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Online retail sales healthy in August, but offline suffers

Retail sales in Korea increased 4.3 percent in August from a year earlier, driven by strong sales posted by shopping websites and convenience stores, government data showed Friday.

Sales of 13 major online stores and marketplaces jumped 13.1 percent on-year last month as more people bought airline tickets and travel packages, as well as clothing and fashion items via the internet, according to the data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

In contrast, sales of 13 offline-based retailers, including department stores, discount chains and convenience stores, edged up only 0.4 percent last month, the latest findings showed.

Among offline outlets, convenience stores showed the highest growth as the rising number of single households bought food and other daily necessities from nearby neighborhood stores, which have rapidly increased over the past few years.

Food sales at convenience stores rose 10.3 percent, with strong demand for ready-made food and imported beer, it said.

Department stores and hypermarket chains decreased 0.8 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, as the Chuseok holiday falls on Oct. 4 of this year, which is later than usual. Yonhap
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