October Retail Sales Mixed in Japan

Inclement weather in the month kept customers from shopping.

TOKYO — Japanese retailers saw mixed sales in October, as poor weather — including several typhoons — kept customers out of stores.


Fast Retailing said Tuesday that comps at its Uniqlo stores in Japan fell 13.8 percent on the year.


Same-store sales fell year-on-year in October, due in part to the high temperatures which persisted through to the middle of the month and also to the adverse impact of several typhoons towards the end of the month,” the company said in a statement.


Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, on the other hand, said that sales at its nine main stores in Japan increased 6.4 percent in October, compared with the same month last year. This marks the ninth straight month of sales increases for Japan’s largest department store operator.


Takashimaya saw October sales fall by 2.3 percent among its 18 department stores in Japan. Like Fast Retailing, it also blamed the drop on unusually poor weather, which had an adverse effect on customer numbers. However, the company said that luxury clothing and accessories, as well as fine jewelry, continued to perform well, and sales of those items increased on-year.


The Hankyu and Hanshin department stores, which are operated by H2O Retailing, fared well last month, with sales increasing 13.8 percent year-on-year. Most of this growth, however, was due to a 49.3 percent rise in sales at the company’s Hankyu Umeda flagship store, which was renovated and expanded in 2012.


J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, said sales its 18 stores fell by 1.6 percent in October. Although sales of fine art and jewelry showed large growth and luxury brand goods remained strong, the inclement weather slowed sales of autumn and winter fashion items.