South Korea’s online shopping hits record

South Korea’s online shopping hit a record monthly high in November on a record demand for food delivery services, statistical office data showed Thursday.

Shopping in the cyberspace reached a new high of 12.76 trillion won (11 billion U.S. dollars) in November, up 20.2 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea.

It was the largest since the relevant data began to be compiled in 2001. The previous record high was tallied in the previous month.

The record online shopping was attributable to surging demand for food delivery services using smartphone apps amid the rising number of one-person households.

From a year earlier, food delivery services in the cyberspace doubled at 1.02 trillion won (881.2 million U.S. dollars) in November, surpassing the one trillion-won mark for the first time.

The online cosmetics sale jumped 32 percent in the month thanks to the growing number of foreign tourists to the country.

A year-end shopping festival also buoyed the purchase of discount products. The Korea Sale FESTA, a South Korean version of Black Friday, ran for about three weeks in November.

During the January-November period, the online shopping amounted to 122 trillion won (105.3 billion U.S. dollars), much higher than 103 trillion won (890 million U.S. dollars) tallied in the same period of 2018.