Department stores saw faltering sales last month due to poor weather conditions coupled with the ongoing economic slowdown. According to data released on Sunday, sales decreased 2.1 percent on-year at Lotte Department Store in August, 2.3 percent at Hyundai Department Store, and 0.9 percent at Shinsegae Department Store.
Lotte saw sluggish sales in the garment section, which accounts for 60 percent of its total sales, posting a 1.2 percent drop in women's clothing and a 0.6 percent fall in men's wear. Sales in the cosmetics section also shrank 6 percent.
At Hyundai, sales grew 25 percent in the miscellaneous goods section on the back of brisk demand for its sunglasses and parasols in the wake of the recent heat wave. But sales of its men's and women's garments slipped by around 6 percent.
Meanwhile, Shinsegae has escaped relatively unscathed, especially as it has benefited from a 41 percent jump in sales of processed foodstuffs. However, it also felt the brunt of the financial pinch in its clothing line, registering a 17 percent drop in sales of women's formal dresses.
Department stores will go all-out to lure consumers for Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, to recover from last month's sluggish sales.