BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese convenience stores performed better in the fourth quarter of 2017, as shown by a business index released Thursday.
The headline index for the convenience store sector stood at 71.28 in Q4, up from 69.25 in Q3, the Ministry of Commerce said in a report on its website.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 represents contraction.
"The index was held at a relatively high level in 2017 and saw small fluctuations, showing the strong confidence of convenience store operators in the sector's development," the report showed.
The better performance was partly due to weaker impacts from online sales with the trend of online-offline integration.
The sub-index for the sector's sales rose from 80.9 in Q3 to 85.4 in Q4, while the sub-index for the number of stores reached 91.4, the highest in 2017.
However, the sector was haunted by rising labor costs and weak attractiveness to workers, resulting in a labor shortage and threatening the sector's sustainable growth.
The report said store managers should intensify the efforts to attract employees and improve the training of workers.