Tokyo store sales fall 1.3% on year

Sales at Tokyo department stores fell 1.3 percent on a same-store basis in September from a year earlier to 155.07 billion yen for the 10th straight month of year-on-year decline, the Japan Department Stores Association said in a preliminary report Wednesday.

The association attributed the drop to weakening demand from large-lot customers, although it was smaller than the 1.8 percent drop in August. Discount sales and higher sales of clothing helped cushion the fall.

“Sales show improving and retreating signs alternately but basically continue to crawl at the bottom,” an association official said. “Consumer sentiment is being negatively affected by uncertainty over the economy fueled by recent falls in stock prices.”

Sales of clothing, the largest commodity sector among department store merchandise, rose 0.3 percent to 62.26 billion yen, up for the second straight month.