Retail sales rise more than 11% in 2021 amid pandemic

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This file photo, taken on Dec. 6, 2021, shows a citizen shopping at a discount store in Seoul amid growing inflationary pressure.  (Yonhap)

This file photo, taken on Dec. 6, 2021, shows a citizen shopping at a discount store in Seoul amid growing inflationary pressure. (Yonhap)

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.

(Yonhap)


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