SEOUL, Jan 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Retail sales in South Korea grew 11.3% year-on-year in 2021 on strong consumer appetite and growth in online transactions amid the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, said Thursday the Ministry of Industry.
Combined sales of offline local retailers rose 7.5% year-on-year from a year earlier, and those of online stores rose 15.7%, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Commerce, of Industry and Energy.
Department stores performed exceptionally well, with sales jumping 24.1%, driven by strong demand for luxury items, sporting goods and children’s items, the data showed.
Sales of imported luxury goods have surged amid the novel 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 sales rise 6.8% year-on-year as more people bought necessities closer to home.
But sales at discount chains and small supermarkets fell 2.3% and 9.1%, respectively, the data showed.
Instead, more consumers have turned to online platforms amid the pandemic and virus restrictions.
Grocery sales on online platforms jumped 23.8%, and the food delivery and other services segment saw sales jump 37.9%, the data showed.
Sales of cosmetics and electrical and electronic products also rose 15.3 percent and 13.6 percent respectively last year, the data showed.