SEOUL Feb 27 South Korea's department store
sales in January rose at the fastest pace in three months, trade
ministry data showed on Monday, as demand rose thanks to the
Lunar New Year holiday.
Combined sales last month at department stores run by
Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping
and Shinsegae Co climbed 4.6 percent in January for
a year earlier, accelerating from 3.3 percent in December.
January's rise was the fastest since a 6.0 percent jump in
Retail sales tend to rise around Lunar New Year, which can
fall anywhere between mid-January to mid-February, as consumers
ramp up purchases of gifts and food.
A breakdown showed sales of nearly all product categories at
department stores increased in January, except for women's
formal wear and men's apparel.
The same data showed sales at discount stores jumped 11.3
percent in January on an annual basis, on the back of the
holiday. That was the fastest rise since sales soared 24.5
percent in February 2015, and snapped two months of falls.
January's biggest gain was for food products.
(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)