TOKYO—Retailers in Japan saw mixed sales in November, as cold weather buoyed sales of winter items, while construction projects and one fewer Sunday compared with the same month last year bit into some companies’ revenue.
Fast Retailing said Friday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo outlets in Japan grew 7.3 percent on the year. Customer numbers were up by 4.1 percent, while the average purchase per customer increased by 3 percent.
Asia’s largest clothing retailer said Uniqlo saw that growth “thanks to consistently cold weather throughout the month and a strong anniversary sale towards month-end.”
After one closure last month, there are currently 800 Uniqlo stores in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi said that sales among its nine department stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area slipped 2.7 percent year on year in November. Some individual stores saw sales fall by as much as 13.1 percent.
Takashimaya saw November sales growth of 1.3 percent among its 17 department stores in Japan. While stores located in major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto performed well, those in more rural areas didn’t fare as well.
“Despite having one fewer weekend day compared with the same month last year, in addition to the effect of snowfall in the Kanto region, the efficacy of sales measures and a drop in temperatures helped to boost sales of winter items, leading to the first year-on-year sales increase in four months,” Takashimaya said.
H2O Retailing’s Hankyu and Hanshin department stores in Japan saw their sales contract by 1.4 percent last month, marking the fourth straight month of year-on-year declines. While the Hankyu flagship store in Osaka’s Umeda district saw its sales slip by just .2 percent, sales at the nearby Hanshin flagship store fell by 5.9 percent.
J. Front Retailing said that sales at its 18 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan were down by 4.5 percent on the year. The company’s Daimaru Tokyo store was one of only two to post positive growth, with sales at that store increasing by 3.9 percent. However, some other stores saw double-digit drops in sales. The biggest hit was taken by the Daimaru Shinsaibashi store in Osaka, where November sales were down by 20.2 percent due to renovation work on the store’s main building, which has resulted in reduced sales floor space.
Despite the challenges, J. Front said it saw strong sales of women’s and men’s winter coats and accessories, as well as luxury brand goods and cosmetics.