Taipei, Retail sales accounted for more than 40 percent of Taiwan's total private consumption in 2017, indicating how the retail sector has become one of the most important indicators to local consumption, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
The MOEA said the local retail sector generated NT$4.15 trillion (US$135 billion) in sales in 2017, up 1.2 percent from a year earlier, and retail sales made up about 45 percent of local total private consumption in the year.
The MOEA said retail sales have been growing year by year to repeatedly hit new record highs in recent years. In the first half of 2018, retail sales rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier to total about NT$2.10 trillion, a new high in seven years, the MOEA added.
In 2017, sales posted by convenience store chains rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier, and growth for the first six months of this year hit 7.1 percent, as convenience store operators have intensified by adding outlets and diversifying their product portfolios, the MOEA said.
According to the MOEA, Taiwan's convenience stores have also extended their reach to the logistics business, a move that has provided an additional revenue source.
As of the end of 2017, the number of Taiwan's convenience stores hit 10,662, up 2.4 percent from a year earlier, with one for every 2,211 customers in Taiwan on average, compared with 2,248 in Japan, the MOEA said.
In terms of supermarkets, the number of outlets in the industry totaled 2,163, which meant one super market for every 10,890 people in Taiwan on average, compared with 8,445 in the United States and 4,477 in South Korea, the MOEA said.
The MOEA said revenue posted by department store chains has been on the rise since 2009. In 2017, sales posted by department store operators rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier to NT$334.6 billion. In the first half of this year, growth continued, hitting 2.6 percent, the MOEA added.
Like its neighboring markets, Taiwan has witnessed online retail sales rising at a time when smartphones have been gaining popularity, the MOEA said.
Retail sales through e-commerce accounted for 5.8 percent of the total retail sales in 2017, up from 5.6 percent in 2016 and 5.4 percent in 2015, according to the MOEA.
The 2017 ratio was shy of China's 15 percent, South Korea's 13.9 percent and the United States' 12.2 percent, but higher than Japan's 5.3 percent, according to the MOEA.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel