SEOUL, Jul. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — The center of the South Korean distribution industry is shifting from mega-sized retailers and department stores to easily-accessible convenience stores and online sales at an unexpected pace.
The sales growth rate of large-sized retailers and department stores in the first half of the year remained stagnant, but convenience stores and online sales recorded rapid growth in the double digits.
According to Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy on July 30, sales at large retailers in the first half of the year recorded a zero percent increase compared with the same period last year, while department stores reported a 0.9 percent increase.
Sales at convenience stores in the first half surged by 11.4 percent over the same period last year, with the food sector including lunchbox sales leading the way with 18 percent growth, largely due to the increase in the number of single person households. In addition, a 12.8 percent increase in the number of convenience stores also played a role in boosting growth.
Overall online sales for the first half this year saw a 13.1 percent increase from the same period last year.
All of the online merchandizing sectors witnessed sales expansion, with direct online sales up 25.1 percent and third-party online sales growing 8.8 percent.
Of note, the online food and fashion clothing sectors showed remarkable growth of 29.1 and 28.4 percent, respectively, while the growth rate of the distribution industry as a whole including both online and offline operations came in at 6 percent over last year.
In June, the online and offline sectors both saw growth, bringing up total sales by 7.2 percent from last year.
Again, the growth of convenience stores and online sales stood out with 10.9 percent and 33 percent increases, respectively, whereas the growth rate of department stores and large retailers was estimated to be 1.3 and 2.3 percent, respectively.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)