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Japan Dept Stores’ May Sales Slide 2.1 Percent

Figures reflect an improvement on past months.

TOKYO―Japanese department stores’ May sales slid 2.1 percent, representing an improvement on previous months’ performance.

Sales at the country’s department declined  2.1 percent to 491.24 billion yen, or $5.34 billion at average exchange, compared with the same period last year, the Japan Department Stores Association sad Monday. The stores registered their  27th straight month of declining sales but the drop was smaller than that of previous periods. 

 

The association said that warm weather and some holidays boosted sales of spring and summer clothing early in the month.

 

Two stores closed their doors in the month of May, bringing the total number of department stores in the country to 265.

 

Faced with more than a decade of stagnating sales and sluggish economic conditions, Japanese department stores are trying to find fresh ways to lure customers. Some have traded down by securing fast-fashion tenets like Uniqlo and Forever 21. But Daimaru Matsuzakaya is tapping into consumers’ spendthrift ways with a new tactic. A spokeswoman confirmed Monday that the retailer will move into the secondhand luxury goods business this summer.

 

Daimaru Matsuzakaya, a subsidiary of J. Front Retailing,  will open a website on July 1 dedicated solely to the buying and selling of used luxury items, including clothing, handbags, watches, accessories, and small leather goods.

 

At its inception the site is expected to include roughly 250 brands, including leading names such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel, but this number will gradually increase as time goes on. The spokeswoman said the retailer hopes the site’s annual sales will reach 1 billion yen, or $11.03 million at current exchange, after two to three years of operation.