TOKYO — Japanese department stores saw increased sales in July, bolstered by growing numbers of purchases by international tourists. But fast-fashion giant Uniqlo, whose business is more dependent on the weather, didn’t experience the same success.
Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s corporate parent, said Tuesday that the brand’s sales in Japan last month slipped by 1.5 percent compared to July 2014. Customer numbers dropped by 6.1 percent, but the average purchase per customer increased by 4.9 percent.
“Same-store sales fell year-on-year in July, with sales of summer items struggling across the board after the rainy season dampened temperatures in the first half of the month,” Fast Retailing said in a statement.
After opening one and closing four stores last month, Uniqlo now has 810 stores in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said that sales at its nine department stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area grew 5.1 percent year-on-year in July. The Isetan Shinjuku flagship and the Ginza Mitsukoshi store performed particularly well, with sales increases of 7.6 and 27.1 percent, respectively.
Takashimaya saw 7 percent sales growth among its 17 department stores in Japan. Stores in urban areas, such as Osaka, Kyoto, and the Nihonbashi and Shinjuku stores in Tokyo, had the strongest growth.
“Owing to increased demand from inbound tourists and favorable sales of big-ticket items, as well as successful strengthening of sales of regular-priced products, July’s sales increased year-on-year for the fourth consecutive month,” Takashimaya stated.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, also said its sales benefitted from a rise in purchases by foreign visitors to Japan, particularly when it comes to luxury brand goods, jewelry and cosmetics. Sales at its 18 stores in Japan rose 6.2 percent last month, with three individual stores showing double-digit growth.
Sales of Hankyu and Hanshin department stores, operated by H2O Retailing, grew 5.2 percent on the year in July. The Hankyu flagship store in Osaka saw a sales increase of 14.1 percent.