TOKYO — Retailers in Japan saw mixed sales in August, as unseasonably cool weather stunted sales of summer items but helped to boost the movement of fall styles.Fast Retailing said Monday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo stores in Japan fell 3.4 percent last month. While the average purchase per customer inched up 0.7 percent, customer numbers were down by 4.1 percent.“Same-store sales dipped year on year in August as unseasonal weather weakened demand for summer items,” the company said in a release.Fast Retailing has not opened a new Uniqlo store in Japan since April. After closing two locations last month, it now operates a total of 790 Uniqlo units across the country.Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said same-store sales among its eight stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area grew 6.5 percent in August, the third straight month of sales growth. Japan’s largest department store operator saw the biggest gains come from its stores in urban centers. Sales at the Mitsukoshi store in Tokyo’s Ginza area were up 17.9 percent in August, while those from the Isetan flagship in Tokyo’s Shinjuku grew 9.3 percent.August sales among Takashimaya’s 17 department stores in Japan grew 4.1 percent on the year.“Temperatures in August continued to be lower than most years, and we saw movement among autumn clothing items such as jackets,” the retailer said. “There was also growth among big-ticket items and tax-free sales, leading to overall higher sales than the same month last year.”H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, said same-stores sales gained 5.4 percent last month. The Hankyu flagship store in Osaka’s Umeda district saw its sales rise by 10.1 percent. It was the ninth consecutive month of sales growth for the Hankyu and Hanshin stores.J. Front Retailing’s Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores saw their August sales rise by 3.6 percent. They were given a big boost by the Daimaru store in Osaka’s Shinsaibashi neighborhood, where sales were up 20.1 percent compared with the same month last year.“While the start of the women’s fall fashion season was slow, sales of men's wear, accessories and food products were bullish, and cosmetics, luxury brand goods, fine art and jewelry all saw large growth in sales,” J. Front said.
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