TOKYO — Sales among retailers in Japan were mixed in May, as cooler than usual weather and one fewer holiday compared with the same month last year slowed down the movement of warm-weather items, while sales to overseas visitors to Japan remained strong.
Fast Retailing said Monday that same-store sales among its Uniqlo stores in Japan slipped 2.7 percent on the year last month. Customer numbers were down by 6.9 percent, while the average purchase per customer grew by 4.5 percent.
“Same-store sales dipped year-over-year in May with the large number of cool days in the month slightly weakening demand for summer goods,” Fast Retailing said in a release.
The retailer did not open any new Uniqlo stores in Japan last month nor close any existing ones. It currently counts 790 total Uniqlo doors across the country.
Isetan Mitsukoshi, Japan’s largest department store operator, said that same-store sales among its seven outlets in the Tokyo metropolitan area gained 2.4 percent on the year in May. The biggest growth came from the retailer’s Mitsukoshi Ginza store in central Tokyo, where sales increased by 10.1 percent last month.
May sales at Takashimaya’s 17 department stores in Japan slipped 0.7 percent compared with the same month last year. The company took an especially big hit from its Tachikawa store in western Tokyo, where sales dropped 35.4 percent year-over-year.
“Despite continued expansion in sales of big-ticket items and tax-free sales, this year Children’s Day [a Japanese national holiday] fell on a Saturday, resulting in the first year-over-year drop in sales since February of this year,” Takashimaya said in a release.
H2O Retailing said that same-store sales among its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores in Japan grew by 2.3 percent in May, compared with the same month a year earlier. Its Hankyu Umeda flagship store in Osaka performed particularly well, with sales growth of 7.7 percent.
J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, said that May sales among those 17 stores in Japan gained 0.8 percent on the year. While there were big drops at some regional stores, including a 12.2 percent dip at Matsuzakaya Toyota and a 10.5 percent decline at Matsuzakaya Shizuoka, stores in city centers fared better. The Daimaru store in Osaka’s Shinsaibashi area saw its sales grow by 10.2 percent, while the Matsuzakaya store in Tokyo’s Ueno neighborhood enjoyed a sales increase of 8.5 percent.
“One fewer holiday compared with the same month last year, as well as lower temperatures than usual in the first third of the month, led to a recoil from last month and slow movement of summer clothing, however owing mostly to sales to foreign visitors to Japan the sales of cosmetics, luxury brand goods, and fine watches continued to be favorable,” J. Front said in a release.