Japan Retailers See Strong June Sales

Warm weather and an early start to seasonal markdowns boosted comps.

TOKYO — Japanese retailers saw robust sales growth in June, boosted by warm weather and and an early start to seasonal markdowns.

Fast Retailing said Tuesday that June comps at its Uniqlo stores in Japan rose 20.5 percent on the year, attributing the growth to a mix of favorable weather and strong sales of summer items featured in its ad campaign. Uniqlo’s customer numbers at its Japan stores were up by 26.4 percent.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department store operator, said that June sales at its nine main stores increased by 5.7 percent year-on-year. This marks the fifth straight month of sales growth for the retailer, which recently remodeled the women’s clothing and accessories sections of its Shinjuku Isetan flagship store. The company said the store has been performing well since its grand reopening in March.
Takashimaya saw an increase of 7.8 percent in June sales at its 18 department stores in Japan. One of the biggest gains came from its Shinjuku store in Tokyo, where sales were up 12.8 percent on the year. Like Uniqlo, Takashimaya also said that customer numbers had been higher than last June throughout the month. It also contributed the sales increase to a successful clearance sale and one additional Sunday in comparison with the same month last year.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, said its June same-store sales grew 15.4 percent. These were given a boost by a clearance sale that began on June 28, as opposed to July 1 last year. The retailer’s overall sales were also bolstered by a major sale event at its Ginza store, which closed at the end of June for renovations. Sales at that store more than quadrupled compared to the same month last year.
Sales at Hankyu and Hanshin department stores, operated by H2O Retailing, rose 24 percent in June, marking the eighth straight month of growth for the retailer. Much of the increase came from the Hankyu Umeda flagship store in Osaka, which had its grand opening in November after extensive renovations and expansion. That store’s sales grew 69.9 percent on the year.