South Korea retail grows 9.1% thanks to online sales

South Korea’s overall retail sales rose 9.1% in February compared to the same period last year, thanks to strong online sales, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

While brick-and-mortar declined 7.5% compared to the same period the year prior, web-based retailers saw a 34.3% increase.

For physical retailers, all store types, except for convenience stores and SSMs, reported decreased sales due to social distancing as a result of the spread of COVID-19.

Department store sales declined 21.4%, while sales of global brands increased 4.2%.

Sales at hypermarkets fell 10.6% as clothing and miscellaneous goods were down 46.5% and 41.5%.

Digital retailers saw a 34.3% sales increase, with increased demand for online shopping delivery and online sales of food products rising 92.5%. Household goods also rose 44.5% due to strong demand of protective masks and sanitary products.