TOKYO — Many retailers in Japan saw slight increases in their February sales, as Valentine’s Day promotions and a longer month compared to last year helped to boost figures. Many department stores’ sales also continued to be buoyed by increasing numbers of tourists from overseas.
Fast Retailing said Wednesday that February same-store sales at Uniqlo stores in Japan grew 1.2 percent year-on-year. While customer numbers were down 1.8 percent, the average purchase per customer increased by 3 percent.
“Same-store sales rose year-on-year in February on the back of a favorable launch of new spring ranges,” Fast Retailing said in a release.
There are currently 805 Uniqlo stores across Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department-store operator, said sales among its nine stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area were up 2.1 percent year-on-year in February. The retailer saw the strongest growth at its stores in central Tokyo, with sales at its Isetan Shinjuku flagship growing 6.3 percent.
Takashimaya saw sales growth of 1.5 percent at its 17 department stores in Japan last month. The strongest growth came from the retailer’s store in the southwestern city of Osaka, where sales increased by 7.1 percent on the year.
“While sales of men’s clothing and accessories and women’s clothing decreased compared with the same month last year, sales of categories such as luxury clothing and accessories, jewelry and fine art grew due to continued strong demand from inbound international tourists,” Takashimaya said in a release. “Sales of women’s accessories and food items also increased over last year.”
H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, said sales among those stores grew by 0.7 percent on the year in February. Its Hanshin flagship store in Osaka’s Umeda district performed particularly well, with sales up 5.7 percent.
Front Retailing’s Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores fared less well, with sales from its 18 stores dropping 3.5 percent year-on-year. Much of the decrease was due to construction work on the Daimaru store in Osaka’s Shinsaibashi area. The sales area of that store has temporarily decreased by about 40 percent, and sales there were down 13.7 percent last month.
“While Valentine’s Day sales promotions produced favorable results and sales of cosmetics and art were bullish, movement of fashion items such as coats was slow,” J. Front said in a release. “There was also a negative effect on sales due to the reconstruction of the Shinsaibashi store’s main building and remodeling construction work on the Nagoya store.”