S.Korean retail sales up 7.9% in Feb amid return to pre-Covid normalcy

Seoul, Mar 28 (IANS): Retail sales in South Korea grew 7.9 per cent on-year in February on rising demand for fashion, tourism and other items as people increasingly adapted to post-pandemic life amid eased anti-Covid restrictions, the Industry Ministry said on Tuesday.

The combined sales of 25 major offline and online retailers came to 13.1 trillion won ($10 billion) last month, compared with 12.1 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry.

The overall on-year growth came on weak retail sales a year earlier because of fewer business days over the Lunar New Year's holiday, as well as another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic sparked by the fast-spreading Omicron variant at that time, reports Xinhua news agency.

Sales of offline retailers jumped 8 per cent on-year to 6.33 trillion won last month, as demand for fashion items as well as goods for children and sporting rose 16.2 per cent and 17.4 per cent, respectively.

Sales of food also advanced 11.7 per cent on-year in February.

But sales of electronics at offline shops fell 19.4 per cent from a year earlier, the data showed.

Department stores saw their sales rise 8.6 per cent on rising demand for clothing and fashion items.

Sales at discount chain stores, such as E-mart and Lotte Mart, also increased 5.8 per cent on-year, and smaller supermarkets saw their sales rise 3.2 percent.

Convenience stores enjoyed 10.2 percent sales growth thanks to strong demand for smaller food packages and everyday items, the Ministry said.

Online platforms also saw their sales advance 7.8 per cent on-year to 6.74 trillion won in February.

Among other categories, sales of tourism and other services surged 19.8 per cent on-year, and demand for foodstuffs and fashion items rose 13.6 per cent and 11.8 per cent, respectively.

Online platforms accounted for 51.6 per cent of total sales in February, according to the Ministry.



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Title: S.Korean retail sales up 7.9% in Feb amid return to pre-Covid normalcy

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