Sales slide continues for Japanese retailers

The supermarket and department-store sales slide in Japan continued last month, say industry bodies.

There was little impact yet from the Premium Friday campaign launched last month by the government and business community to encourage people to spend more with Japanese retailers by letting workers finish work early on the last Friday of every month, reports Japan Today.

Supermarket sales fell 3.3 per cent from a year earlier, down for the third straight month. This is partly because of weak sales of clothing and household products, says the Japan Chain Stores Association. Overall sales at 9464 supermarkets run by 57 companies totalled ¥961.62 billion (US$872.9 billion).

While sales of clothing dropped 9 per cent, household products including pharmaceuticals and furniture declined 4 per cent, says the association.

Department-store sales slid 1.7 per cent, falling for the 12th consecutive month, says the Japan Department Stores Association. Overall sales at 234 stores run by 81 companies totalled ¥433.67 billion.

Sales of clothing dropped 4.5 per cent, while sales of household items and food fell 8.6 and 0.8 per cent respectively, says the association.

Both associations say the month’s weak retail sales were also affected by one less trading day in February last year, a leap year.

While the Premium Friday campaign helped push up sales at department stores in large cities, it had little impact on supermarket sales, the associations say.


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