STILL GOING DOWN: Sales of department stores in the Tokyo area dropped 2.5 percent in February compared with a year ago, according to Japan Department Stores Association. Total sales of 28 department stores in the area were $1.18 billion, which declined for the 15th consecutive month.

Apparel sales declined 1.6 percent, with women’s wear falling 0.8 percent, even though casual wear, sweaters and coats showed some improvement. Men’s wear sales rose 1.1 percent, while children’s wear sales were down 1.4 percent compared with the same month last year.

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