Japanese department-store sales continue to fall

Japanese department store sales plunged 60 per cent last month as the Covid-19 crisis saw retailers close or operate under reduced hours across the country.

Sales in the Matsuzakaya and Daimaru department stores were down 73.2 per cent year on year, although that was an improvement on the 79.1-per-cent decline a month earlier. 

Rival operator Takashimaya says its sales were down by 62.9 per cent, while Seibu and Sogo reported a decline of 61.5 per cent. 

As in neighbouring South Korea, duty-free sales have been severely affected by the absence of inbound mainland Chinese tourists. In Takashimaya’s duty-free division, sales fell by 98.7 per cent. 

As Inside Retail Asia reported yesterday, South Korean duty-free retailers temporarily shuttered metropolitan stores in response to a significant decline in tourist numbers caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

However, department-store sales there have shown signs of recovery as social-distancing restrictions were eased by the country’s government. 


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