TOKYO—Retailers in Japan posted mixed sales in February, as numbers were bolstered by various promotions but hindered by the boost leap year gave to sales in the same month last year.Fast Retailing said Thursday that same-store sales among its Uniqlo stores in Japan grew by 5.2 percent in February, while customer numbers rose 3.9 percent. The average purchase per customer increased by 1.2 percent.“Same-store sales rose 5.2 percent year-on-year in February on the back of a strong launch of spring items,” Fast Retailing said. “Wireless bras, featured for the first time in our campaign ads, also sold well, as did the Uniqlo U clothing line created by our Uniqlo Paris R&D center.”After closing one store last month, Fast Retailing currently counts 791 Uniqlo stores in Japan.Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department store operator, said February sales at its nine stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area were up 0.4 percent compared with the same month last year. While sales at most individual stores declined, the overall numbers were given a boost by a 99.3 percent increase in sales at the company’s Mitsukoshi store in Chiba, outside Tokyo.Takashimaya saw a 1 percent drop in February sales among its 17 department stores in Japan.“Despite the success of business promotions such as Valentine’s Day and Premium Friday, sales didn’t reach the levels of last year because of one fewer business day due to leap year, as well as one fewer Saturday in the month,” Takashimaya said.H2O Retailing said sales at its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores in Japan grew 2.6 percent last month. The Hankyu flagship in Osaka’s Umeda district fared particularly well, posting a sales increase of 6.8 percent on the year. February marked the third straight month of sales increases for the retailer.J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, said February sales at its 18 stores in Japan were down 1.2 percent year-on-year in February. There were drops of as much as 11.9 percent at individual stores, but locations in city centers tended to fare better.
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