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Japan Retailers’ October Sales Drop

Stores cited two fewer holidays compared with the same month last year and unseasonably warm weather.

TOKYO — Japanese retailers reported mostly lower sales for the month of October, citing two fewer holidays compared with the same month last year and unseasonably warm weather.
 
Fast Retailing said Friday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo stores located in Japan fell 2.2 percent in October, which the company blamed on the weather.
 
“Same-store sales held flat year-on-year in October as persistently warm weather throughout the month stifled sales of fall-winter garments,” Fast Retailing said in a release.

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Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said Thursday that sales at its nine main stores in Japan fell four percent year-on-year. This included a 6.4-percent drop at the Isetan’s Shinjuku flagship, which is partially closed for ongoing renovations.
 
Takashimaya reported a 1.7 percent decline in sales at its 18 stores in Japan, which it attributed to one fewer Saturday and one fewer Monday compared with last October.
 
“Although fall and winter clothing such as coats and knits performed favorably, the effect of two fewer holidays led many items, such as menswear, women’s clothing, jewelry and foodstuffs, to fall below levels of the previous year,” the department store operator said in a release.
 
Same-store sales at the Hankyu and Hanshin department stores, operated by H2O Retailing, fell by 1.3 percent during the month, marking the eight straight month of decline for the retailer.
 
J. Front Retailing, operator of the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores, represented the one bright spot in October, as sales at its 21 stores were up by 1.5 percent. However, it is important to note that these figures are overall sales and not same-store sales, and that the company was greatly helped along by the October 5 grand opening of the expanded Daimaru Tokyo store. Sales at that store alone rose by 44.2 percent in October.