S. Korean retail sales rise in first half on increased online sales

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SEOUL, July 30 (Xinhua) — Retail sales in South Korea rose in the first half of this year due to increased sales in the cyberspace, a government report showed Monday.

Combined sales by 13 online and offline retailers, respectively, rose 7.4 percent in the January-June period compared with the same period of last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Online sales jumped 16.3 percent for its convenience, while sales in the offline shops gained 2.7 percent.

The portion of revenue by offline retailers accounted for 62.5 percent of the total in the first half, down from 66.8 percent a year earlier.

The percentage of revenue by online retailers increased from 33.2 percent to 37.5 percent in the cited period.

Online sales rose at a fast pace on demand for food and online booking of performance as well as for purchase of home appliances through online brokerage firms.

In the offline front, convenient store sales advanced 10.8 percent in the first half amid the growing number of one-member households buying food in nearby convenient stores.

Sales in key department stores grew 1.6 percent, but revenue by major discount store chains reduced 1.8 percent amid the larger portion of online sales.