By  on August 18, 2009

TOKYO — Japanese department stores' July sales fell 11.7 percent to 618.5 billion yen, registering their 17th consecutive month of decline.

The Japan Department Stores Association said Tuesday that apparel sales of the country’s 272 stores fell 15.6 percent during the month. The continued weakness of the Japanese economy and a longer than usual rainy season bit into business, especially for swimwear and other summer items, the association said.

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