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Convenience stores continue to see higher sales in pandemic

A customer looks at items at a convenience store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
A customer looks at items at a convenience store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Sales at local convenience stores continued to increase despite economic setbacks from COVID-19, government data showed Monday.

The convenience store sector was the only retail sector that continued to post growth during the first eight months of this year, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy added.

During the January-August period, sales at convenience stores increased by 6 percent on average from a year earlier. The trend was especially strong in March and April, when the respective figures soared 10.7 percent and 11.6 percent.

Though overall sales at convenience stores increased, sales at each convenience store branch remained relatively unchanged, the ministry said. In August, average sales at a convenience store amounted to 52.8 million won ($44,665), down 1.8 percent on-year.

Other retail sectors experienced ups and downs depending on coronavirus conditions, according to the ministry.

Supermarket sales went down throughout the first six months, then bounced back 2.8 percent on-year in July only to decline 5.3 percent in August.

Sales at local department stores decreased by 6.3 percent on-year in January, but increased between February and June.

By Shim Woo-hyun (