Retail sales in Japan fell for a seventh-straight month in September, as consumers remain cautious to spend and travel restrictions reduce the amount of footfall in-store.
Retail sales fell 8.7% in September from a year earlier, government data showed. The result is a larger dip than a median market forecast for a 7.7% drop, according to Reuters.
Spending on items such as cars, consumer appliances and clothing declined in September, causing a big fall in overall retail sales, the data showed.
Month-on-month, retail sales were down 0.1 % on a seasonally adjusted basis, reversing from a 4.6% gain in August Japanese department stores — which previously saw a lot of their sales come from international shoppers — continued to be hit hard in September.
Department store same-store sales fell 33.6% from a year before, following a 22% fall in August, the Japan Department Stores Association said. Total sales in September reached US$3.18 billion.
By retailer, Fast Retailing said Uniqlo store stores in Japan increased by 10% In September, versus 2019.
Japan’s largest department store operator, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, said September comparable sales across its five locations in the Tokyo city area plummeted by 35.5% on the year.
Fellow department store chain Takashimaya said sales at its 15 department stores in Japan dropped 36.1 percent in September compared to 2019, while H2O Retailing — the operator of Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores – reported a decrease by
27% in September.
Finally, J. Front Retailing said September sales from its 16 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan declined by 59.4% year-on-year.
Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, behind China and the U.S.