11 December 2020
The Weekly

While nearly all stores across the country have resumed operations after temporary closures — some with shorter business hours — travel restrictions have led to a drastic decline in the number of international visitors to Japan, affecting department stores in particular. Fast Retailing reported November same-store sales from its Uniqlo stores in Japan came in at 0.5% higher than the same month last year. Customer numbers fell by 4.2%, while the average purchase per customer rose by 4.9%.

Isetan Mitsukoshi said same-store sales in November from its five stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area declined by 14.7% versus a year ago. Of these five stores, the Mitsubishi Nihonbashi store in Tokyo fared best, with a sales drop of 10%. But just down the road, sales from the Mitsukoshi Ginza store plummeted by 31.7%.

Takashimaya said November sales at its 15 department stores in Japan were down by 12.8% year-on-year. Three individual stores actually saw their monthly sales increase by up to 1.9%, while the largest drop in sales came from the retailer’s Shinjuku store, which logged a 20.1% drop. Tax-free sales to overseas shoppers plummeted 90.4%.

H2O Retailing said that sales from its Hankyu and Hanshin department stores dropped 13.7% last month, compared to the same month in the previous year. Sales from the Hankyu Umeda flagship store in Osaka declined by 13.8%, while sales from the Hanshin flagship store, also in Osaka’s Umeda district, fell by 31.4%. Tax-free sales to inbound international travellers were down by 90%.

J. Front Retailing, which operates the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya chains of department stores, said November sales from its 16 locations in Japan decreased by 20.6% on the year. All locations posted declines, and the biggest drop came from the Daimaru Tokyo store, where sales fell by a whopping 40.7%. Tax-free tallies were down by 95.9%.