Covid-19 exacerbates apparel-sales decline in Japan

Sales of apparel and accessories at Japanese department stores plummeted 40 per cent last month compared with a year earlier.

The figures were released by the Japan Department Stores Association showing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its member businesses. Data showed ¥97,548 million (US$911.5 million) in revenues for the month, compared to ¥243,870 million ($2.28 billion) for March last year.

According to the association’s data, based on member polls, womenswear sales fell 44.2 per cent during the period, with menswear falling 39.7 per cent and kidswear 24.9 per cent.

Covid-19 is not the sole factor in the industry downturn, with sales figures already dropping since October last year, well before the coronavirus was discovered. 


The downward trend was aggravated by the Japanese administration’s restrictions on movement and by temporary store closures during the pandemic.

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