TOKYO — May was another rough month for Japanese retailers.
Department stores’ May sales slid 12.3 percent to 511.2 billion yen, or $5.28 billion, from a year ago, the Japan Department Stores Association said Friday. This is the 15th straight month of decline.
Apparel sales at the nation’s 274 stores fell 15.1 percent during the month. Men’s wear shed 16.9 percent, while women’s wear sales declined 15 percent.
The ongoing recession, rising unemployment and swine flu fears kept shoppers away, the association said. Japan’s unemployment rate has climbed steadily since the start of the year to reach 5 percent in April, the most recent data available.
To combat the current climate, some Japanese department store operators are offering summer discounts earlier than usual. Takashimaya will put about 20 to 30 percent of its spring-summer merchandise on sale as of Saturday and start to mark down the rest on July 1, the traditional start of the sales period on Japan.
Similarly, Millennium Retailing Group’s Sogo and Seibu department stores have already started marking down merchandise — including leftover stock from past seasons — by as much as 40 percent.
“Last year, these markdowns were done mainly for our loyalty card holders, but this year discounted merchandise is available for regular consumers at this earlier stage,” a Millennium spokesman said.
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“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
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