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Japan Stores Post Strong January Comps

Retailers saw demand for winter apparel and high-end products.

TOKYO — Japanese retailers posted strong sales growth in January, thanks to demand for winter apparel and high-end products.

 

Fast Retailing said Tuesday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo stores in Japan grew 15 percent. The company said “the ranges featured in our advertising campaigns and other winter items [sold] especially well.” After seven closures in January, there are currently 832 Uniqlo branches throughout Japan.  

 

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department store operator, said that sales at its nine major stores were up 10.5 percent in January. Two of its stores in Tokyo fared particularly well, with its Isetan Shinjuku flagship posting 17.7 percent sales growth, and its Ginza Mitsukoshi store 14.6 percent. January marks the 12th straight month of increased sales for these nine stores.  

 

Takashimaya said that sales at its 18 department stores in Japan grew by 4.2 percent in January. “In addition to large growth [in sales] of big-ticket items such as specialty clothing and accessories, jewelry, and fine art, sales of fashion items such as men’s clothing and accessories and women’s accessories also increased over last year,” Takashimaya said.

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H2O Retailing said that sales at its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores grew 4.9 percent year-on-year in January. Like Isetan Mitsukoshi, Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores has seen its sales grow each month for at least a year, with much of this growth stemming from large-scale renovation and expansion projects. 

 

J. Front Retailing said its Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan posted January sales growth of 5.3 percent. In addition to a successful clearance sale, the company said that strong sales of luxury brand goods, watches and jewelry helped to boost its overall performance.