Isetan Mitsukoshi delays summer sale

JIJI

Leading department store Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. will delay its summer discount sale by two weeks in an unusual break with its traditional strategy of relying on low prices to attract customers.

The discount sale is expected to kick off on July 13 at Isetan and Mitsukoshi stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area, sources said.

Although the summer campaign usually boosts traffic, consumers haven’t been satisfied lately because of limited clothing sizes and colors, the company said.

Department stores initially launched the summer sale as a way to prop up weak demand in August. In the 1990s, after the collapse of the bubble economy, the campaign was brought forward to early July to lure more shoppers earlier.

“We will return to our original business of selling timely products at regular prices,” Isetan Mitsukoshi President Hiroshi Onishi said earlier in what may have been a veiled reference to the break with discount sales.

The delayed campaign sale is expected to boost revenue by reducing the size of the discounts and by accommodating requests for broader product lineups, the sources said.