Online Shopping Soared Amid MERS Fears in June

      August 04, 2015 12:39

      Online sales surged in June as consumers stayed away from supermarkets and department stores amid the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

      According to Statistics Korea on Monday, online retail sales totaled W4.4 trillion in June, up 26.6 percent compared to the same month last year.

      Web sales edged up only 2.2 percent, but shopping via smartphone surged 79.8 percent. As a result, online shopping now accounts for a record 15.1 percent of total retail sales.

      Total retail sales shrank 0.6 percent over the same period to W29.3 trillion. Many consumers shunned public places like department stores and supermarkets amid the MERS outbreak, leading to a 4.2 percent drop in sales for offline retail.

      Food and beverage led the growth in online sales with a 54.8 percent on-year increase. Cosmetics came in second with 34.7 percent, followed by shoes and bags (30.1 percent), apparels (27.9 percent) and furniture (24.5 percent). 

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