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Japan Sees Mixed August Sales

Hot weather moved summer items, but hurt sales of fall merchandise.

TOKYO — Japanese retailers reported mixed sales in August, as stifling hot weather helped move late summer items off store shelves, while at the same time holding back sales of fall goods.

 

Fast Retailing said same-store sales at its Uniqlo fast-fashion stores in Japan increased by two percent year-on-year in August. It noted the weather “kept sales of summer garments firm throughout the month.”

 

After closing two stores in August, Fast Retailing currently operates 824 Uniqlo locations in Japan.

 

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, the country’s largest department store operator, reported a 0.2 percent drop in August sales at its nine main locations in Japan. Sales at the Mitsukoshi store in Chiba, outside of Tokyo, fell by 9.4 percent compared with the same month last year.

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Takashimaya said sales at its 18 stores in Japan dropped 0.6 percent overall in August, which it blamed on a decline in customer numbers as well as sluggish sales of food items.

 

“Despite sales of specialty clothing and miscellaneous goods, as well as jewelry, exceeding those of the previous year and men’s and women’s clothing holding steady with last year, customer numbers decreased in the first half of the month and sales of food products weren’t able to reach the level of last year,” the retailer said.

 

H2O Retailing said that sales at its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores in Japan declined by 2.3 percent in August. This marks the sixth straight month of sales decreased for the retailer, which enjoyed several months of inclines through February.

 

J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, reported a 0.4 percent increase in August sales at its 21 locations throughout Japan.

 

In a release, J. Front said that hot weather throughout the month hindered sales of autumn items, but made for good performance of items such as sandals and parasols. It also said that luxury brands, watches and jewelry continued to perform well.