September 29, 2016 / 2:01 AM / a year ago

S.Korea August dept store sales rise for 3rd month

SEOUL, Sept 29 (Reuters) - South Korea’s department store sales rose for a third straight month in August thanks to widespread discounting ahead of a major public holiday this month, government data showed on Thursday.

Combined sales at department stores run by Hyundai Department Store, Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Co rose 4.1 percent on-year, data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

This followed a 7.0 percent jump in July.

Sales of all individual categories at department stores rose in August, with the exception of men’s clothing.

The same data showed August sales at discount stores fell 1.3 percent from a year ago after rising for two months previously. In August, sales rose 2.1 percent.

The decline was attributed to a 14.8 percent slump in sports-related goods as the unusually hot summer weather this year discouraged customers from seeking them out, the monthly report said.

Online open market sales growth at websites owned by eBay Korea Co Ltd and others slowed slightly to 22.4 percent in August from 31.2 percent in July.

Retail sales overall in August mainly saw demand for household electronics like air conditioners and gifts ahead of the Chuseok holiday season, the data said. (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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