Most small merchants closing shop before five years

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 12, 2017 - 10:00
  • Updated : Oct 12, 2017 - 10:00
Less than one-third of self-employed merchants survive past five years, with small shops like restaurants and retailers that are often the lifelines for ordinary families being the first ones to close, government data showed Thursday.

Records provided by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to Rep. Lee Che-ik for parliamentary inspections said that of new businesses that opened in 2009, only 27.3 percent were still open five years later. The survival rate has declined from 30.9 percent for shops opened in 2007 and from 29 percent for those that opened in 2008.


Data showed that 777,000 businesses had closed in 2014, 98 percent of them small shops.

The five-year survival rate for wholesale and retail businesses, another sector often engaged in by people with limited resources, was 24.3 percent. The rate is even lower for finance and insurance (13.4 percent), arts and leisure (14.6 percent), and restaurants and accommodations (17.3 percent). 

Restaurants and accommodations were more easily hit. Only 59.2 percent of them were still standing a year later, meaning about 40 percent close up shop in less than a year.

Businesses related to electricity, gas and water had the highest five-year survival rate of 74.1 percent, the data showed. (Yonhap)