Outside a Shinsegae department store in Daegu, South Korea. Shutterstock.
The South Korean retail giant benefitted from the easing of social distancing measures and pent up demand for luxury items, its quarterly earnings reveal.
Total consolidated sales for the first quarter of 2021 hit 2.2 trillion won (around $1.9 billion), while net profit increased by 88 billion won to reach 89 billion won ($78.8 million). Fashion in particular has been booming in Shinsegae’s network of department stores, with luxury, womenswear, menswear and sportswear marking year-on-year gains of 58 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent respectively.
Subsidiary Shinsegae International, which imports and distributes global fashion brands like Celine and Stella McCartney, reported a 21 percent sales boost for fashion and an 18 percent spurt for beauty, as shoppers lacking the option to travel abroad look for their favourite global brands at home. Analysts expect sales at Shinsegae International’s online platform, SI Village, to grow more than 90 percent year-on-year in 2021.
Shinsegae’s duty free business, however, continues to see its airport business suffer, with sales down 92 percent year-on-year. Downtown duty free sales, which grew 35 percent from Q1 2020, offset some of those losses.