Uniqlo saw higher sales in May over Japan’s Golden Week holiday but other Japanese retailers did not fare as well.
Fast Retailing said same-store sales at its Uniqlo chain in Japan increased 5.9 percent, thanks to “favorable weather” and “strong sales” across the Golden Week holiday. Japan’s Golden Week, a string of public holidays, ran from April 29 through the first week of May.
Isetan Mitsukoshi May sales fell 6.7 percent on the year, plunging 8.7 percent in Tokyo Metro area alone. This was the third straight month that sales in the Tokyo area declined.
Takashimaya said sales at its 13 Takashimaya-branded department stores fell 1.9 percent. H2O Retailing said sales at its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores and branch stores slid 1.7 percent in May.
Front Retailing’s sales at its Daimaru Matsuzakaya department store division fell 7.1 percent, dented by renovation work at its Daimaru Shinsaibashi store in Osaka. The company said the sales area of the store is currently 40 percent smaller than it was one year ago. Excluding sales from that store, total sales would have fallen 4.2 percent.
The country’s retailers, which are grappling with sluggish consumer spending in Japan, don’t need to worry about another sales tax increase until 2019. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe postponed a planned tax hike, which will lift the tax rate to 10 percent from its current level of 8 percent.