SEOUL May 23 Sales at South Korea's top
department store and discount store chains both fell in April
from a year earlier for the first time in three months,
underscoring shaky consumer confidence.
Sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store
, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae
fell by a combined 1.9 percent in April from a year
earlier, industry ministry data showed on Thursday.
Separately, sales at the country's top three discount store
chains declined by a sharper 9.8 percent in April over a year
earlier, making it the first time since January that sales at
both categories suffered annual losses.
These were roughly in line with estimates by the finance
ministry early this month that April sales at department and
discount store chains dipped by 1.6 percent and 10.3 percent,
respectively, on an annual basis.
(Reporting by Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Kim Coghill)