SEOUL (Reuters)–Sales at department and discount stores both fell in March from a year ago, revised trade ministry data confirmed on Tuesday, as consumers held back from buying spring clothing because of cold weather.
Combined sales last month at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co declined 5.7 percent in March on-year, the trade ministry said.
This was slightly revised down from a 5.4 percent fall estimated by the finance ministry earlier this month and compared to a 6.6 percent rise in February.
The trade ministry noted department store sales were being pressured by increasing competition from online vendors and outlet shopping malls.
The same data showed annual sales at discount stores fell 6.5 percent in March from a year ago, better than the previous 7.4 percent decline estimated.
Clothing sales at department and discount stores dropped 7.1 percent and 10.6 percent respectively, in annual terms.