South Korean Retail Sales Surge 9.5% in September Driven by Online Platforms and Chuseok Holiday

SEOUL — Retail sales in South Korea saw a 9.5 percent increase on-year in September, fueled by robust online sales and the seasonal boost from the Chuseok holiday, according to data released on Monday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Industry and Energy, the total sales for 25 key offline and online retailers reached 15.3 trillion won (US$11.2 billion) last month, compared to 13.9 trillion won during the same period last year. Online platforms experienced a 12 percent increase in sales, totaling 7.46 trillion won, largely supported by food items and cosmetic products.

Offline retailers also posted a 7.2 percent on-year growth in sales, amounting to 7.8 trillion won. This uptick was attributed to the Chuseok fall harvest holiday that began in late September. Among offline retailers, department stores reported a 3.1 percent increase in sales, primarily due to strong demand for food, which resulted in a sector-wide growth of 35.1 percent. Supermarkets also saw their sales rise by 10 percent, largely due to food items. However, weaker demand for home appliances somewhat curbed the overall sales growth amid rising inflation rates.

Online platforms accounted for 48.9 percent of the total retail sales in September, a slight increase from 47.8 percent a year earlier, according to the ministry.

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