Retail sales in Korea rose in May compared with a year ago on the back of upbeat sales at online stores that provide fast delivery and easy transaction services, government data showed on June 28.
The combined sales of 26 major offline and online retailers reached 10.57 trillion won (US$9.42 billion) last month, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
Sales of 13 major online stores and marketplaces jumped 17.2 percent on-year in May to drive the overall growth.
Online malls reported a 21.3 percent spike in sales as more people opted to do their grocery shopping online, thereby allowing them to receive fast delivery service.
Online market places, where product or service information is provided by multiple third parties, reported a 12.4 percent surge in sales thanks to strong demand in electronics and IT products.
Sales of 13 offline-based retailers, including department stores, discount chains and convenience stores, climbed 1.2 percent, led by brisk sales at convenience stores, which posted a 9.1 percent surge, the ministry said.
In contrast, sales at big discount retail outlets and hyper markets declined 4.5 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively, it noted.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (email@example.com