Retail sales rose 6.4% in August due to the popularity of grocery deliveries

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A shopper purchases groceries from a supermarket in Seoul on September 24, 2021. (Yonhap)

Retail sales in South Korea rose 6.4 percent year over year in August, data from Wednesday showed as people continued to buy more groceries and groceries online amid the new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The combined sales of 25 major offline and online retailers reached 12.6 trillion won ($ 10.6 billion) last month, compared to 11.9 trillion won last month, according to the Department of Commerce, Industry and Commerce Energy compiled data.

Sales from offline stores rose 2.5 percent year over year in August as a strong performance from department stores made up for losses from supermarkets.

Department stores saw sales jump 13 percent as people bought more home appliances and luxury brands. Local sales of imported luxury products have risen sharply amid the pandemic due to revenge purchases.

Revenge shopping occurs when consumers seek convenience in purchasing goods amid restricted social activities and travel.

The convenience stores were also able to increase their sales by 4.5 percent, as the demand for beverages was robust in the scorching summer heat.

Supermarket sales, on the other hand, fell 5.5 percent as more South Koreans bought everyday necessities online during the pandemic.

Online retail platforms saw sales jump 11.1 percent year over year in August as more South Koreans became used to buying groceries from home.

The sale of groceries through such platforms increased by 28.2 percent. The service sector, which also includes food delivery, saw sales jump 17 percent.

Greater Seoul has been subject to Level 4 distancing measures since July, the highest in the country’s four-tier system, while most other areas are below Level 3. (Yonhap)


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