South Korea’s retail sale grows in October


Seoul : Sales at South Korea’s major discount outlets and department stores grew in October due to solid demand for food and luxury goods, a government report showed Thursday.

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Total sales at the country’s three leading discount chains, including E-Mart, Lotte Mart and Homeplus, increased 5.5 percent in October from a year earlier, a turnaround from a 1.1 percent on-year reduction in September, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Rising demand for food products led the October turnaround. Food sales, which account for more than half of sales by the key discount chains, grew 7.5 percent on-year last month due to lower fresh vegetable prices, according to the ministry.

Sales of sports items expanded 8.7 percent in October from the previous year, with those of daily household goods, clothing and home appliances rising 4.1 percent, 3.2 percent and 1 percent each over the same period. Sales of miscellaneous products edged down 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, combined sales at the three major department stores, including Lotte, Shinsegae and Hyundai, rose 3.1 percent in October from a year before, but the growth rate slowed from the September’s 6.5 percent gain, the ministry said.

Luxury goods sales expanded 10.9 percent on-year last month, maintaining its double-digit growth trend, but the growth rate continued to slow down, according to the report.

Sales of children’s sports items and groceries gained 6 percent and 3.7 percent each in October from a year earlier, the ministry said.