Japanese Retailers Report Mixed April Sales

A cold snap toward the end of the month was said to weigh on the revenues.

TOKYO Japanese retailers reported mixed sales for April, as a cold snap toward the end of the month hindered the performance of spring and summer styles.


Fast Retailing said Thursday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo chain in Japan fell 3 percent compared with April 2012.


Same-store sales fell year-on-year in April, as the negative impact of unseasonal cool weather late in the month outweighed overall favorable sales of ranges of clothing featured in our advertising campaigns,” the company said in a statement.


Department store operator Takashimaya also failed to reach the levels of last year’s sales, reporting a drop of 0.5 percent in revenues at its 18 stores in Japan. The retailer blamed the fact that April had one fewer Sunday than last year as the reason for the decline, but noted that sales of luxury clothing and accessories, jewelry and other big-ticket items increased year-on-year.


Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, on the other hand, said that revenues from its nine main department stores in Japan were up 3 percent over the previous year.


H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, said Wednesday that its sales were up 10.3 percent overall in April. This was largely due to a 56 percent increase in revenues at the Hankyu Umeda store, which was expanded and reopened last November.


J. Front Retailing also enjoyed success with its Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in April. Sales at a total of 19 stores rose 4 percent year-on-year, marking the ninth straight month of sales increases for the retailer. Like Takashimaya, J. Front saw a strong performance among high-priced items, such as luxury brand goods and jewelry, and revenues were also given a push by a sale at the retailer’s Ginza store, which will be closing at the end of June.