TOKYO — Retailers in Japan posted mixed sales in November, as unseasonably warm weather throughout the month dampened demand for winter items, and a national holiday that fell on a Saturday meant fewer opportunities for consumers to shop.
Fast Retailing said Tuesday November same-store sales among its Uniqlo stores and e-commerce platform in Japan decreased by 4.3 percent compared with the same month last year. Customer numbers contracted by 1.7 percent, while the average purchase per customer was down by 2.7 percent.
“Same-store sales dipped in November as persistently warm weather weakened demand for winter clothing,” Fast Retailing said in a statement.
After one opening and no closures last month, Fast Retailing counts 788 Uniqlo doors in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department store operator, said same-store sales among its seven stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area were flat last month. Only two individual stores — the Isetan Shinjuku flagship and the Mitsukoshi Ginza store, both in Tokyo — posted sales increases year-over-year in November, and both were less than 1 percent.
Takashimaya said among its 17 department stores in Japan, November sales dipped by 0.5 percent year-over-year.
“While sales of big-ticket items and tax-free sales expanded, movement of cold-weather items such as coats and scarves was sluggish,” Takashimaya said in a statement. “However, tax-free sales were up 8.5 percent compared with last year.”
H2O Retailing, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, said sales among those stores in Japan slipped by 0.8 percent on the year last month. When removing the Hanshin Umeda flagship store in Osaka from the results, sales increased by 0.6 percent. Hanshin Umeda is undergoing renovations, so its sales area has decreased by about 20 percent.
“Because of warm temperatures, sales of winter clothing such as coats, scarves and other items that protect against the cold struggled,” H2O Retailing said in a statement.
J. Front Retailing said November sales from its 17 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan increased by 1.7 percent year-on-year. Its stores in major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto fared best.
“While there was one fewer weekend day compared to the same month last year, sales of cosmetics, luxury brand goods and high-end watches continued to be favorable, including sales to overseas customers visiting Japan,” J. Front said in a statement.