Japanese department store sales still muted

Japanese department-store sales dropped 2.4 per cent in November from a year earlier on a same-store basis, down for the ninth consecutive month.

Overall sales at 234 outlets run by 81 companies stood at ¥525.7 billion (US$4.6 billion), the Japan Department Stores Association says, noting the size of the decrease had shrunk for the third straight month.
Association officials say department stores are hopeful for a turnaround in December through the year-end shopping spree.

Sales dropped for almost all categories in November, with exceptions including cosmetics. Sales fell 2.4 per cent for clothing and 0.6 per cent for food. Same-store declines were smaller than October’s 6.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively.

Sales of tax-free goods to overseas visitors dropped 7.1 per cent to about ¥14.5 billion – the first contraction of less than 10 per cent in seven months.

Meanwhile, the Japan Franchise Association has reported an 0.5 per cent increase in convenience store sales in November, reaching ¥773.4 billion on a same-store basis, up for the second straight month.
It says the increase reflects brisk sales of prepared meals such as fried foods as well as the winter dish oden.

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