TOKYO — An exceptionally warm autumn in Japan has inhibited apparel sales, denting retail tallies in October.
Fast Retailing said Wednesday that same-store sales at Uniqlo in Japan, including online sales, slipped by 0.6 percent last month. Customer numbers were up by 4.2 percent, but the average purchase per customer declined by 4.6 percent.
“Same-store sales declined year on year in October, with persistent warm weather early in the month dampening demand for core winter items,” Fast Retailing said. “It is worth noting however that sales started to recover once the weather turned colder from the middle of the month onwards.”
After 10 openings and 7 closures in October, there are currently 801 Uniqlo stores in Japan.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan’s largest department store operator, said sales at its nine stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area fell 3.4 percent in October versus a year ago. All but two of its units experienced declines, but locations in the city center generally fared better than suburban ones.
Takashimaya said that sales among its 17 department stores in Japan slipped by 3.7 percent in October, despite an 11.3 percent growth in tax-free sales. Certain stores, such as those in the western Japanese cities of Osaka and Okayama, as well as the store in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, enjoyed sales increases of up to 3.1 percent. However, a drop of 10.1 percent at the company’s flagship store in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi bit into overall tallies.
“Due to a high comparative base thanks to large orders and the opening of the Watch Maison last October, store sales results fell below those of the same month last year,” Takashimaya said.
H2O Retailing said sales at its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores fell 3.2 percent in October. Its Hanshin Umeda flagship store in Osaka saw its sales decline by 8.5 percent.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, said sales at those 18 stores in Japan were down by 5 percent in October. Much of this drop was due to a 26.2 percent sales decrease at its Daimaru store in Osaka’s Shinsaibashi district.
The sales surface of that store has shrunk by about 40 percent because of reconstruction work on its main building. When excluding the Shinsaibashi store from the calculations, the total decline in department store sales at Daimaru and Matsuzakaya would have been 1.1 percent.