The poor performance was due mainly to temporary store closures and reduced traffic resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Department stores continued to suffer from a lack of customers, including those from overseas, while low-priced stores fared better
Retailers in Tokyo began opening their doors last week, but some will continue to wait.
The country had a record number of consecutive days without sunshine, as well as unseasonably cool temperatures.
One fewer weekend day compared with the same month last year also posed a challenge for many stores.
The company’s bottom line was boosted by a very low comparative base.
Lower-priced retailers focusing on basics did not fare well, due to warm weather throughout the month.
The 6.1-magnitude earthquake damaged buildings, toppled furniture, and halted transportation services
Sales at discount stores fell in Japan in December, while most department stores saw slight increases.
Operating profits for Japan’s largest department store operator dropped 20 percent.