TOKYO — Retailers in Japan saw increased sales in March, as warm temperatures throughout the month contributed to strong sales of spring merchandise. As tourist numbers to Japan remain on the upswing as well, tax-free sales — particularly among products such as cosmetics and luxury brand goods — also continue to perform well.
Fast Retailing said Tuesday that same-store sales among its Uniqlo stores in Japan rose 13 percent on the year last month. Customer numbers were up 7.7 percent, while the average purchase per customer grew by 4.9 percent.
“Same-store sales rose year-over-year in March as the predominantly warm weather during the month supported strong sales of spring-summer ranges and jeans,” Fast Retailing said in a statement.
After four openings and two closures last month, Fast Retailing currently counts 788 Uniqlo stores in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department store operator, said that same-store sales at its eight stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area grew 1.4 percent year-over-year in March. While sales at the Isetan Shinjuku and Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi flagships in Tokyo slipped by less than 1 percent, overall numbers were boosted by the Isetan store in Matsudo, northeast of the capital. Sales at that store grew 81.5 percent over the same month last year.
Sales among Takashimaya’s 17 department stores in Japan rose 2.7 percent in March, compared with the same month a year earlier. Sales at the Tachikawa store in western Tokyo dropped 30 percent due to a reduction in the area of the sales floor, but sales increases at other stores were enough to make up for the decline.
“Sales of both women’s and men’s spring clothing items were favorable thanks to rising temperatures, and sales of big-ticket items and tax-free sales continued to grow, leading to overall sales that exceeded those of the same month in the previous year. Tax-free sales were up 22 percent year-over-year,” Takashimaya said in its statement.
H2O Retailing Corp. said that March sales of its Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores grew by 5.1 percent on the year. The Hankyu Umeda flagship in Osaka performed particularly well, with its sales increasing by 9.7 percent. The month marked more than one year of consecutive sales growth for the company.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, saw sales among its 17 department stores grow by 4.2 percent year on year last month. The biggest growth came from the Daimaru Shinsaibashi store in Osaka, where sales were up by 15.4 percent. Only four individual stores saw their March sales decline.
“Due to higher temperatures than normal years, spring fashion items such as light coats and blouses moved well, while White Day sales events performed favorably, and sales of cosmetics, luxury brand goods, and fine jewelry also increased,” J. Front said in a statement.