Retail in Asia

In Markets

Japan’s retail sales growth slows in May, June looks more positive

Retail sales in Japan lifted 2% for the month of May, as shopping revenue growth slowed in the archipelago nation, compared to April’s increase of 3.2%.

The May result came in below a median forecast of 2.6% compiled by Reuters.

The biggest contributors to the rise were sales of motor vehicles, followed by fuel, medicine and toiletries, according to the Economy Ministry.

SEE ALSO: Australia’s retail sales lift more-than-expected in May

Offsetting the gains, sales at supermarkets and department stores dipped 0.6% in May, after growing for the first time in nine months in April at a pace of 1.1%

Month-on-month, sales fell 1.6% from April, when they rose 1.4% on March.

However, June looks to be more positive on the retail front for major apparel and accessories players.

A report by WWD said big-name fashion retailers in Japan recorded a positive sales month in June, on the back of early clearance sales and an increase in shopping tourists to the nation.

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Fast Retailing said Tuesday that same-store sales at its Uniqlo stores in Japan were up 4.1% on the year last month, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, the country’s largest department store operator, said same-store sales among its Tokyo metropolitan area gained 1.1% year-over-year in June.

After releasing a soaring first-quarter profit result last week, Takashimaya said June sales at its 17 department stores in Japan grew 4.6% compared with the same month last year, while H2O Retailing Corp, which operates the Hankyu and Hanshin chains of department stores, said sales at those stores were up 4.6% on the year last month.

Finally, the 18 Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores in Japan, operated by J. Front Retailing, posted a 4.8% sales rise on the year in June.