TOKYO—Japanese retailers saw strong sales in April, due mainly due low comparative bases from the same month last year. Sales suffered in April 2014 as consumers curtailed spending right after a sales tax hike.
Fast Retailing said Thursday that same-store sales among its Uniqlo stores in Japan increased 19.3 percent. Customer numbers were up 6.7 percent on the year, and the average purchase per customer grew by 11.8 percent.
“Same-store sales increased year-on-year in April, with warmer weather from the middle of the month boosting sales of summer ranges,” the company said.
After opening 11 stores last month and closing three, Fast Retailing currently operates 818 Uniqlo outlets in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, the country’s largest department store operator, said that sales at its nine stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area grew 17 percent on the year in April. The Mitsukoshi store in Tokyo’s Ginza district performed particularly well, showing 42.7 percent sales growth.
Takashimaya said that sales at its 17 department stores increased 16.7 percent last month. The retailer said that even when compared with April 2013, when there was no tax increase, its sales grew by about 1 percent.
Sales at H2O Retailing’s Hankyu and Hanshin department stores grew 13 percent year-on-year last month, despite a drop of 13.3 percent at its Hanshin Umeda flagship store in Osaka. An increase of 27.9 percent at the Hankyu Umeda flagship helped make up for this.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains, said sales among its department stores shot up 21.7 percent in April. Only two individual stores saw a decrease in sales, while others experienced growth of up to 44.6 percent.
“Because of the recoil of consumers’ restrained buying last year immediately following the consumption tax increase, [sales of] jewelry doubled, and [sales of] luxury brands and cosmetics increased by about 70 percent,” J. Front said in a release. “Sales to international shoppers visiting Japan also increased by four times over the same month last year.”