On August 15, the company reported sales for July at its 14 domestic department stores, which were up 11.1% year on year, the tenth monthly gain on the trot. Best performer was the Shinjuku unit in Tokyo, which saw sales rise by 33.4%, the tenth consecutive double-digit percentage gain. The Shinjuku store accounts for just over nine% of company department store sales, making it number five in revenue behind the flagship in Nihombashi, and the stores in Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto/Rakusei. Collectively, these five stores alone garner more than 75% of sales, with the remainder divided up among the other nine units.
Footfall was up 6.4% year over year, and indeed the increase in customer traffic and the significant sales growth are partly due to the return of overseas tourists, upon which some of Takashimaya’s department stores are heavily reliant for duty-free sales. The Shinjuku and Osaka branches get about 20% of sales in this way. Duty-free sales overall rose by 153.2% in July. Still, sales to tourists across the chain are being held back by current government border policy: visitors on government-vetted package tours are now allowed but individual tourists are not. So tourism, though higher than last year when it was next to zero, are still well down on pre-pandemic levels. Best-performing categories are apparel, personal accessories such as jewelry and watches, home appliances, cosmetics, other accessories and the stores’ restaurants and cafes, which are enjoying boom times now that people are getting out again. Conversely, sales growth of food for home consumption is flattening out. The online business is a particular target of the company for growth and Takashimaya hopes to reach 50bn JPY ($370mn) this year. Overall, the four stores overseas — in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai and Bangkok — generated 19.5bn JPY (approximately $143mn) in operating revenue in the last financial year and contributed 1.3bn JPY ($9.4mn) in operating profit, numbers.