TOKYO — Japanese retailers saw lower sales in July, as cool weather early in the month and one less Saturday than the year before bit into sales of summer items. Warming temperatures in the latter half of the month weren't able to make up for the decline.
Fast Retailing said Thursday that Uniqlo's same-store sales in Japan fell two percent in July. In the same month, customer numbers were down by 4.6 percent.
"Same-store sales held firm year on year in July after the mid-month rise in temperature offset earlier sluggish sales and boosted sales of summer items," Fast Retailing said.
Fast Retailing currently operates 826 Uniqlo stores in its home market of Japan.
The country's largest department store operator, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, also said that July sales took a slight hit. The company reported Wednesday that sales at its nine main stores were down 2.6 percent year-on-year.
Takashimaya said sales at its 18 department stores in Japan declined 3.1 percent in July, which it attributed to one fewer Saturday in the month compared to last year, as well as a staggered clearance sale.
"On the other hand, [sales of] big-ticket items remained bullish, with jewelry and draperies exceeding the previous year," Takashimaya said.
H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, saw same-store sales fall 5.1 percent in July, while overall sales dropped 6.7 percent.
Among J. Front Retailing's Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores, July sales fell by 1.5 percent, the second month of decline after 15 months of sales increases.
"Despite continually favorable sales of luxury brand products, a one-day reduction in Saturdays compared with the previous year and below average temperatures in the beginning of the month, as well the added effect of an earlier June start of clearance sales at some stores, [sales dropped]," the retailer said.
J. Front Retailing currently operates 21 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores in Japan.
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