SEOUL, June 10 Sales at South Korea's top
department- and discount-store chains both rose in May from a
year earlier, finance ministry estimates showed on Tuesday,
snapping a three-month run of losses and easing concerns about
the strength of domestic demand.
Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai
Department Store, Lotte Shopping and
Shinsegae Co rose 2.0 percent last month from a year
before, the ministry said in a report.
Sales at major discount-store chains also climbed by a
combined 1.7 percent in May from a year ago.
It was the first time in four months that sales at both
categories of retail outlets grew. The figures came amid
concerns that consumer spending could be hit by a darkening
public mood from the ferry sinking in mid-April which killed
more than 300 people.
Anecdotal evidence has shown the disaster hurt domestic
tourism and leisure spend.
(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo & Shri