Retail sales in Korea inched up 0.7 percent in January compared with a year ago as upbeat sales at online malls offset sluggish performance by brick-and-mortar stores, government data showed on Feb. 27.
Sales of 13 major online stores and market places jumped 21.6 percent on-year last month as more people preferred shopping via computers and mobile gadgets, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said, without disclosing their sales figures.
Sales of 13 offline-based retailers, including department stores, discount chains and convenience stores, fell 9.2 percent over the period due to downbeat sales of high-margin gift packages as the Lunar New Year fell in mid-February this year. The holiday season fell in late January in 2017.
Among offline retailers, convenience stores were the only bright spot posting 9.8 percent growth on the back of a wide range of items and services targeted at a rising number of single-person households.
Sales at online malls soared 25.5 percent on-year in January as more people opted for online grocery shopping, aided by fast delivery service.
Online market places, which present products provided by many different sources, also surged 20.4 percent growth on the expansion of third-party sellers in the electronic and home appliance sections.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (email@example.com