SEOUL May 22 Sales at South Korea's top
department store and discount store chains fell simultaneously
in April from a year earlier, down for a third month in a row,
revised data showed on Thursday, roughly in line with earlier
It was the first time since August 2012 that sales in both
categories of stores suffered annual losses for a third
consecutive month, indicating domestic demand in Asia's
fourth-largest economy was softening after a strong start to the
Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai
Department Store, Lotte Shopping and
Shinsegae Co fell 1.4 percent in April from a year
earlier, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
It was slightly worse than a preliminary 0.1 percent decline
in sales estimated by the finance ministry early this month.
Department-store sales in March fell 1.1 percent and dropped
2.4 percent in February in annual terms after a whopping 6.8
percent gain in January, government data showed.
Still, combined sales at department stores run by the three
companies were still 0.5 percent higher than a year earlier,
data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed.
Meanwhile, sales at the country's top discount stores fell
by a combined 4.1 percent in April in annual terms, compared
with an earlier estimate of a 3.7 percent decline. It follows a
3.7 percent annual decline in March.
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Choonsik Yoo and