By  on July 16, 2010

TOKYO—Japan's department stores saw their June sales decline six percent, the Japan Department Stores Association said Friday.

Registering their 28th consecutive month of decline, the retailers' sales totaled 492.4 billion yen, or $5.42 billion at average exchange for the month. The association blamed poor sales in June on the appreciation of the yen coupled with the European financial crisis.

Department store sales in Japan have been declining for more than two years in the face of increased competition and poor macroeconomic conditions. But the margin had decreased to just 2.1 percent in May.

While heavy rain in the Western part of Japan adversely affected sales at department stores, it also led to increased demand for umbrellas and other seasonal products. Warm weather in northern Japan boosted sales of summer clothing in those areas.

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