TOKYO — Japanese retailers saw sales increase in March, aided by a low comparative base caused by last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Uniqlo's corporate parent Fast Retailing said March same-store sales at its Uniqlo locations in Japan grew by 5.1 percent year-on-year. In addition to rebounding from last year's quake-affected figures, the retailer attributed the rise to various advertising campaigns.
Japan's largest department store operator, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, said Monday that March sales at its nine main stores in Japan rose 38.2 percent compared with the same month last year. The Mitsukoshi store in the earthquake-hit city of Sendai saw sales surge 84 percent.
Takashimaya also saw big gains in March, with sales at its 18 stores in Japan increasing 16.8 percent overall. Like Isetan Mitsukoshi, stores in the eastern part of the country, including Tokyo, saw the biggest gains.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, reported a sales increase at its 21 stores of 10.3 percent in March. This marks the 12th straight month of sales increases for the company's department stores.
"In March...summer fashion items like women's blouses and dresses moved quickly, big-ticket items such as luxury brand products, watches and jewelry performed well, and sales at stores in the Tokyo area, which were strongly affected by last year's earthquake, increased dramatically," J. Front Retailing said in a release.
H2O Retailing operates the Hankyu and Hanshin department stores, which are mainly concentrated in the western area of Japan, where the effects of last year's disaster weren't felt as drastically. The company said that March same-store sales were up 2.7 percent, the smallest growth of any of the country's major retailers.