More Consumers Stay Indoors, Shop Online Due to MERS Scare

      June 16, 2015 12:25

      Eager to avoid large stores and other crowded public places amid the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, more consumers are turning to online stores to shop for groceries and other necessities.

      Supermarket chain E-Mart said Monday its online sales jumped 63 percent between June 1 -- the day the first death from MERS was reported -- and June 11, compared to the same period last year. Sales of ready-to-eat meals surged 90 percent, while those of processed products grew 70 to 80 percent, it said.

      At two other retailers, Homeplus and Lotte Mart, online sales grew sharply during the same period.

      Sales of mineral water, rice and fruit -- items more commonly traded at conventional stores -- increased noticeably.

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