4 Major Japanese Department Stores Log Sales Growth in April

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Four major Japanese department store operators reported year-on-year sales growth for April, led by strong demand for summer clothing items amid rising temperatures.

Sales of duty-free goods, a measure of consumption by foreign visitors to Japan, were also brisk, with Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co., a unit of J. Front Retailing Co., marking a 4.9-fold increase.

Daimaru Matsuzakaya saw its overall sales grow 19.1% on a same-store basis.

Sales rose 17.2% at Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., 11.8% at Takashimaya Co. and 8.6% at Sogo & Seibu Co., a unit of Seven & i Holdings Co., according to preliminary reports released by the companies on Monday.

Isetan Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya saw their respective sales exceed the levels in April 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

By product, T-shirts, sandals and sunglasses sold well. Suitcases also saw brisk demand ahead of Japan’s Golden Week holiday period between late April and early May.

Duty-free sales jumped 4.2-fold at Isetan Mitsukoshi, 3.1-fold at Sogo & Seibu and 2.8-fold at Takashimaya. Luxury brand handbags enjoyed strong sales.