Department store sales see 4.6% rise

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Sales at department stores in Japan in March rose 4.6% from a year earlier on a same-store basis thanks to a recovery in customer traffic, the Japan Department Stores Association said Monday.

Overall sales at 190 stores came to ¥426 billion. The number of customers grew 2.9%, after a state of COVID-19 pre-emergency was fully lifted in March.

Sales of spring clothing and luxury items like wristwatches were robust. Demand grew for Japanese and Western confectioneries for gifts.

The overall sales figure was still 15.2% lower than that for March 2019, before the spread of the novel coronavirus. But sales excluding those of tax-free goods to foreigners were down only 3.5% from the March 2019 level.