TOKYO — Japanese department stores saw higher sales in June as demand from tourists helped boost figures but fast-fashion brand Uniqlo put in a weaker performance for the month.
Fast Retailing said Thursday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo stores in Japan fell 11.7 percent on the year. Even though the average purchase per customer was up 3.4 percent, customer numbers dropped 14.6 percent.
“Same-store sales dipped year on year in June, with summer ranges struggling to attract as many buyers in the cooler weather,” Fast Retailing said.
After opening one and closing two stores last month, Fast Retailing currently counts 813 Uniqlo stores in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, which put in the strongest performance of Japan’s leading retailers, said sales at its nine department stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area jumped 10.1 percent in June, with sales growth of as much as 32.8 percent at individual stores. Stores in city centers showed the strongest growth.
June sales at Takashimaya’s 17 stores in Japan grew 1.4 percent year-on-year. The company cited demand from overseas visitors and strong sales of big-ticket items as factors in the increase. However, the retailer also said that its June sales did not reach the levels they were in 2013, noting a later start to the summer sale season as one reason for this.
“Sales were strong at Isetan Mitsukoshi and sales growth slowed at other companies, as other companies followed Isetan Mitsukoshi’s lead and delayed the launch of summer sales [in July rather than June],” retail analyst Masafumi Shoda wrote in a report published Monday.
H2O Retailing said June sales at its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores were essentially flat, up just 0.2 percent over last year despite a 14.4 percent sales increase at its Hankyu Umeda flagship store in Osaka.
J. Front Retailing’s Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department store business saw sales grow 1.7 percent last month. The company said that despite fewer weekend days and a later start to the clearance sale season, it saw large sales growth of jewelry, luxury brand goods and cosmetics, thanks in part to an increase in sales to customers from overseas.
“Sales were significantly higher than forecast by companies with mainly city center department stores, such as Isetan Mitsukoshi and Hankyu Hanshin, and we think earnings in April to June are likely to exceed company forecasts,” Shoda wrote.