Tourist spending rises at Japanese department stores

Tourist spending at Japanese department stores jumped 42.8 per cent last month from a year earlier to ¥19.3 billion (US$173.8 million), led by a demand for cosmetics, according to an industry group.

Per-head sales to foreign tourists are also rising, partly because of individual store advertising efforts, says the Japan Department Stores Association.

Chinese shoppers are the main visitors to duty-free counters, followed by customers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand.

Overall department store sales, at 229 shops run by 80 companies, totaled ¥458.8 billion. On a same-store basis, sales inched down 0.04 per cent, their first decline in two months, as the reporting month had one fewer Sunday than in the previous year, the association says.

The Japan Franchise Association says convenience-store sales rose 1 per cent last month from a year earlier to ¥808 billion on a same-store basis, marking their third straight month of increase.

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