TOKYO — Japanese retailers saw flat or falling sales in November, as unseasonably warm temperatures hindered sales of winter items, while one less weekend day compared with the same month last year dealt a hit to customer numbers.
Fast Retailing said Wednesday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo outlets in Japan dipped 8.9 percent year-on-year, while customer numbers fell 12.9 percent. The average purchase price per customer, however, increased by 4.6 percent.
“Same-store sales dipped year-on-year in November after unusually hot weather in the middle of the month stifled sales of winter clothing necessities,” the retailer said.
After five openings and two closures last month, there are currently 806 Uniqlo stores in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department store operator, reported November sales that were flat compared with the same month last year. The figures account for sales at the company’s nine stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area. While it saw sales increases of up to 6.4 percent at its major stores in Tokyo, sales at most individual stores decreased. It was the first month since March that the retailer has not enjoyed a year-on-year sales increase.
Sales among Takashimaya’s 17 department stores in Japan dropped 1.5 percent on the year last month.
“In addition to one fewer weekend day compared with the same month last year, continually high temperatures led to slow sales of winter clothing, and November sales levels did not reach those of last year,” Takashimaya said. But it also noted that sales of big-ticket items were strong, thanks to high stock prices and continuing strong demand from inbound tourists.
H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin department store chains, said sales at those stores in Japan decreased by 2 percent in November. It marked the first drop in sales since March.
Front Retailing said that sales at its 18 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan fell 2.9 percent in November. Sales at its Daimaru stores in Tokyo and Osaka’s Shinsaibashi district rose, but all other stores saw decreases of between 1.5 and 13.2 percent.
“Despite sales growth in product categories such as jewelry, luxury brand goods and cosmetics, temperatures were higher compared to most years, which led to sluggish movement of winter fashion items such as coats and boots,” J. Front said.