Japan Department Store Sales Up 13 % in 2022

Jiji Press
Department stores are seen in the Ginza district in Tokyo on Tuesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese department store sales in 2022 grew 13.1% from the previous year on a same-store basis, up for the second straight year, industry data showed Tuesday.

The climb reflected a rebound in customer traffic following the lifting of restrictions on business and other activities linked to COVID-19 in late March.

All-store sales totaled ¥4,981.2 billion, the Japan Department Stores Association said.

Duty-free sales rose 2.5-fold as foreign visitors to Japan began to increase in autumn after the government drastically eased its border controls.

However, same-store sales were 11.1% below the level of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales to foreign visitors were down by 67.0 % due to a low number of visitors from mainland China.

Following Beijing’s shift away from its zero COVID-19 policy, the key to success in 2023 is seen lying in whether consumption by Chinese visitors will regain steam.

Sales of luxury brand goods, watches and jewelry were robust in 2022. Spending was fueled by an increase in travelers owing to the government’s travel discount program and large purchases by foreign visitors thanks to the weak yen.