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Cosmetic sales growth near one-year high in March

According to Yonhap News,

(SEJONG=Yonhap News) Retail sales of South Korean cosmetics grew at the fastest pace in nearly one year in March on the back of the brisk sales of duty-free stores, despite economic slowdown, data showed Saturday.

Retail sales of cosmetics came to 1.73 trillion won (US$1.49 billion) in March, up 12.9 percent from a year ago, according to the data compiled by Korea Statistics.

The growth was the highest since April 2015 and far exceeds the overall retail industry's 4.7 percent rise in the same period, it said.

Experts attributed the strong sales to the surge in Chinese travelers to the nation, partially helped by the mega-hit KBS drama "Descendants of the Sun," which was aired simultaneously in South Korea and China from late February to mid-April.

The number of inbound travelers rose 17 percent on-year to 1.12 million in March, with Chinese nationals jumping 29 percent.

"Cosmetics sales soared on the back of popular Korean dramas such as "Descendants of the Sun," an official at Korea Statistics said. "Considering the spike in cosmetics sales in duty-free shops, it is believed that Chinese travelers helped boost Korean cosmetic consumption in the period."

For example, AmorePacific Co., South Korea's leading cosmetics maker, said its new lipstick sold out shortly after actress Song Hye-kyo used it on the drama.

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Source: Yonhap News (May 07, 2016)
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