Holiday weekend spurs massive sales growthDuring the first three days of the recent four-day holiday, which began on Thursday, the local retail industry saw its sales grow 36 percent compared to the previous week, and 48 percent from a year before.
From Thursday, May 5, to Saturday, May 7, total sales in the local retail industry, including department stores, large discount chains and home appliance stores, reached 765.8 billion won ($655.1 million).
On Friday alone, which the government designated as a temporary holiday, department stores’ daily sales recorded 123.1 billion won, up 34 percent from the previous week, and large discount chains recorded 101 billion won, up 41 percent during the same period.
Those of home appliance stores were 14.2 billion won, up 39 percent from the previous week and 45 percent from a year earlier.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Monday said this year’s holiday created a larger economic impact than last year’s temporary holiday before the Korean Liberation Day weekend in August.
The government designated Aug. 14 a temporary holiday last year, and sales in local department stores and discount chains reached 177.8 billion won. However, sales from the first three days of this year’s four-day holiday recorded 224.1 billion won, 26 percent higher.
“Sales rose mainly due to Children’s Day and Parents’ Day, which were both during [our] ‘golden week,’” Chun Eung-gil, a director at the ministry, said in a press release. “Additionally, there were a large number of Chinese and Japanese tourists who visited Korea since they also had long weekends.”
Japan’s Golden Week holiday and China’s Labor Day weekend were also celebrated at the same time as Korea enjoyed its own holiday.
In particular, the ministry said there were many who bought gifts such as clothes, miscellaneous goods and toys for children and parents at department stores, and there were more customers in general who visited home appliance stores compared to other weekends.
Furthermore, the government also announced various plans to encourage more people to go out and spend during the days prior to the long weekend. The government gave free access to both government-built and privately-run highways and free admission to many cultural sites such as museums and palaces.
Additionally, retailers held major discount events to attract more customers during the holiday.
Meanwhile, the ministry announced sales data based on eight retailers in Korea. Three department stores - including Lotte, Hyundai and Shinsegae - along with several large discount chains, such as E-Mart, Homeplus and Lotte Mart, participated. Hi-Mart and ET Land were two home appliance stores that participated in the survey.
BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [email@example.com]