TOKYO — Last month’s sales among retailers in Japan were mixed, with many stores suffering due to unseasonably cool weather for July, as well as an extended rainy season, which dampened demand for summer items.
Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. said Friday that sales at its Uniqlo stores in Japan plummeted by 10 percent last month, compared with the same month a year prior. While customer numbers were up by 5.6 percent, the average purchase per customer contracted by 2.7 percent.
“Same-store sales declined year-over-year in July as markedly unseasonal cool weather throughout the month resulted in weaker demand for summer clothing,” Fast Retailing said in a statement.
After one store opening and two closures in July, Fast Retailing counts 776 Uniqlo locations throughout Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi, Japan’s largest department store operator, said July sales for its seven stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area were down by 4.4 percent on the year. Only two suburban stores showed a rise in sales for the month, while the Isetan flagship in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district suffered a decline of 7.1 percent.
Among Takashimaya’s 17 department stores in Japan, only five posted year-over-year sales growth in July. The store in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi area saw its sales gain 1.9 percent. Overall, monthly sales for the retailer fell by 1.3 percent.
“Despite continued growth of sales of big-ticket items led by luxury brand goods, the effects of one fewer Sunday compared with the same month last year, as well as a prolonged rainy season that led to cool temperatures and a record number of days without sunshine, resulted in July sales falling below last year’s levels,” Takashimaya said.
H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin department stores, said that last month’s sales among those stores in Japan came in at 0.9 percent above last year’s levels. This was bolstered by the Hankyu Umeda flagship, where July sales grew by 4 percent. July marked the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth for Hankyu Hanshin.
For the 16 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores operated by J. Front Retailing, sales contracted 3.6 percent last month. The largest drop from a single store came from the Daimaru store in the city of Ashiya, where sales plummeted by 29.9 percent. The total area of that store’s sales floor decreased in March. Only one store experienced sales growth for July. The Daimaru in Osaka’s Shinsaibashi neighborhood posted a gain of 1 percent on the year.