SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) — Retail sales in South Korea shot up 13.7 percent on-year in April on the back of an economic recovery amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Thursday.

The combined sales of 25 major offline and online retailers reached 12.3 trillion won (US$11 billion) last month, up from 10.8 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Sales from offline stores jumped 11.2 percent over the cited period as consumers, less wary of the pandemic, increased outdoor activities.

The rebound also came on a lower base effect, as their sales fell 5.5 percent on-year in April 2020, when consumer sentiment was crushed by the spreading COVID-19.

At offline stores, demand for imported luxury products especially shot up 57.5 percent, as overseas travel restrictions induced local consumers to spend extra money in other areas.

Department stores saw their sales jump 34.5 percent, and convenient stores also enjoyed an 11.6 percent rise in their sales.

Hypermarkets, on the other hand, saw their sales move down 2.8 percent on-year in April as more consumers shopped online.

Online stores enjoyed a 16.5 percent rise in its sales in April on stronger demand for foodstuffs and home appliances.