Japan’s 10-day holiday did little for local retailers

An unprecedented 10-day holiday period in Japan, extended to celebrate the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito, saw unexpectedly low sales increases for Japanese businesses.  

Four big department store operators saw just single-digit spikes in sales revenues, partly due to the poor weather and the fact that travel cost increases during the holiday discouraged tourists from visiting Japan.

“Sales didn’t grow as much as we had expected, as they were affected by the bad weather in the first half of the holiday period,” said an official at Takashimaya.

The Daimaru and Matsuzakaya retail businesses under J. Front Retailing saw a 7 per cent boost over the holiday, while Isetan Mitsukoshi achieved a disappointing 3 per cent increase.

The unseasonal weather has also seen a recent drop in clothing sales for the affected retail businesses.

By contrast, South Korean tourism benefited from the Golden Week extension, with duty free businesses seeing big jumps in sales during the period compared to the previous year. Lotte Duty Free in Sogong-dong saw a 45 per cent sales increase, while Shinsegae Duty Free in Myeongdong saw an 80 per cent year-on-year increase.

Hotels in the main commercial districts of Seoul also saw double-digit occupancy boosts during the period above Golden Week figures for last year.


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