TOKYO — Retailers in Japan saw mixed sales in March, as Fast Retailing said Monday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo shops in Japan slipped 0.3 percent last month, compared to the same prior-year period.
Customer numbers dropped 8.6 percent, but the average purchase per customer was up 9.1 percent.
“Warm weather in early March helped ensure a favorable launch of spring ranges, such as bottoms, knitwear and staple cut-and-sew items,” Fast Retailing stated.
After two openings and three closures in March, there are currently 804 Uniqlo stores in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said sales among its nine department stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area fell 3.1 percent last month year-on-year. While the company’s three main central Tokyo stores fared better than those on the outskirts, none of the individual stores enjoyed growth in sales.
March sales were down 1.2 percent at Takashimaya’s 17 department stores in Japan, with individual store revenues dropping as much as 13.8 percent.
“Due in large part to continuously sluggish clothing sales, for the fourth month in a row [sales] did not reach the levels of the previous year,” Takashimaya stated. “But the demand from inbound tourists remains favorable, having grown more than 30 percent over last year.”
H2O Retailing said that sales at its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores grew 1.6 percent in March. This marked the second month in a row of year-on-year sales growth, after three straight months of declines.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, said sales among those 18 stores dropped 7.1 percent last month. Only one individual store, the Daimaru in Tokyo, saw its sales gain.
“In spite of increased sales of cosmetics and fine art, as well as a favorable result from White Day sales, movement of spring fashion accessories, watches and jewelry was slow,” J. Front stated, referring to the Japanese holiday similar to Valentine’s Day celebrated on March 14. The company also mentioned that remodeling work on two of its stores, which has resulted in decreased selling floor space, negatively affected sales last month.