South Korea’s retail sales grow in December

January 18th, 2012 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, Jan 18 (IANS) Sales at South Korea’s major discount outlets and department stores grew last month largely due to unusually cold weather that drove seasonal goods sales up, a government report showed Wednesday.

Total sales at the country’s three leading discount chains, including E-Mart, Lotte Mart and Homeplus, expanded 3.7 percent in December from a year earlier, a turnaround from a 0.5 percent on-year contraction tallied in the previous month, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Sales of clothes and sports items grew 5.5 percent and 7 percent on-year in December respectively as domestic consumers actively bought winter clothes and winter sports-related goods amid unusually low temperatures, reported Xinhua.

Sales of daily household goods and miscellaneous products advanced 5.8 percent and 0.5 percent each over the cited period, but sales of home appliances shrank 2.4 percent last month. Food sales, which account for more than half of sales by the key discount chains, grew 3.5 percent on-year in December.

Combined sales at the three major department stores, including Lotte, Shinsegae and Hyundai, showed a double digit on-year growth of 11 percent in December, a turnaround from a 0.5 percent on-year reduction a month before.

Luxury goods sales expanded 10.5 percent on-year last month, maintaining its double-digit growth trend, and food sales rose 8.1 percent over the cited period.

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