4 Major Japanese Dept. Stores Post Solid Sales Growth in Jan.

Reuters file photo
Mitsukoshi’s logo is seen on its department store in Tokyo, January 30, 2018.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Four major department store operators Wednesday reported solid same-store sales growth for January, thanks to a recovery in customer traffic from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. posted a 20.9% rise in January sales from a year before. Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co., a unit of J. Front Retailing Co., saw a 20.8% gain. Takashimaya Co.’s sales rose 16.3%. Sogo & Seibu Co., a unit of Seven & i Holdings Co., saw its sales grow 11.1%.

Luxury brand goods and other expensive products fared well. Coats also sold well, reflecting the colder weather. The companies also saw brisk sales during the New Year period.

Duty-free sales made a rapid turnaround, with Daimaru Matsuzakaya marking a 7.6-fold increase.

January sales were still below levels three years earlier, before the pandemic, except for Isetan Mitsukoshi.

Sales rose significantly in large cities. Daimaru Matsuzakaya’s Daimaru Tokyo store saw its sales soar 43.1%, while sales at Isetan Mitsukoshi’s Isetan Shinjuku store, also in the Japanese capital, climbed 29.1%.

Some stores in regional areas reported lower sales, with Daimaru Matsuzakaya’s Matsuzakaya Shizuoka store in central Japan logging a 2.3% sales decline.