TOKYO — Department store sales in Japan were given a boost in October, with consumption increasing and sales to overseas visitors recovering. Lower priced, more basic clothing stores suffered due to warm weather throughout the month, which put a damper on sales of fall staples.
Fast Retailing said Friday that same-store sales among its Uniqlo stores in Japan dropped 10 percent in October, compared with the same month last year. Customer numbers were down by 5.5 percent, while the average purchase per customer contracted by 4.7 percent.
“Same-store sales dipped in October as consistently warm weather throughout the month weakened immediate demand for fall [and] winter items,” Fast Retailing said in a release.
After opening seven stores in Japan last month and closing four, Fast Retailing operates 787 Uniqlo doors across the country.
Shimamura, a cut-priced Japanese fashion retailer, said its October sales fell by 5.3 percent on the year. Its customer numbers inched up by 0.5 percent, but the average purchase per customer was down 5.8 percent. Shimamura opened just one store last month, bringing its total to 1,420 nationwide.
Department stores, on the other hand, fared better. Isetan Mitsukoshi, Japan’s largest department store operator, said same-store sales from its seven locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area grew by 2.5 percent on the year last month. Its Mitsukoshi flagship store in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi did particularly well, seeing a sales increase of 10.6 percent.
Takashimaya said October sales among its 17 department stores in Japan increased by 3.5 percent year-on-year. Stores in Western Japan did particularly well, with sales from the Osaka store up by 7.2 percent, and those of the Kyoto store up by 5.3 percent.
“Despite having one fewer Sunday in the month compared to last year, domestic consumption made a favorable transition and tax-free sales made a recovery, leading sales to exceed last year’s levels,” Takashimaya said in a release. The retailer added that luxury goods, jewelry and food products saw large sales increases over the previous year, and that sales of women’s accessories, sports items and products for the home were also up.
H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, said sales from those stores grew by 4.9 percent on the year in October. When excluding the Hanshin Umeda flagship store, where the sales area has temporarily decreased by about 20 percent due to renovations, the retailer’s sales rose 6.7 percent. It marked the third consecutive month of sales increases for the company.
J. Front Retailing said October sales from its 17 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan increased by 4.1 percent year-on-year. The biggest growth came from the Matsuzakaya store in Tokyo’s Ueno area, where sales were up by 13.7 percent.
“Sales of cosmetics and luxury brand goods, including sales to international customers visiting Japan, continued to be strong,” J. Front said in a release. “In addition to this, autumn clothing moved well, and sales of sweets and dishes grew.”