Sales at department stores in Tokyo’s 23 wards fell in March by 0.6 percent from a year earlier to 189.87 billion yen for the third straight month of decline, the Japan Department Stores Association said in a preliminary report Monday.

The percentage change is adjusted for changes in the number of stores.

While sales of some seasonal merchandise, such as spring clothes, rose during the second half of the month due to promotions and store renovation effects, sales dropped overall as a result of poor demand from corporate clients, it said.

Sales of clothing, the largest sales category, fell 1.2 percent to 73.67 billion yen in March.

Sales of food, the second-largest category, grew 2.9 percent to 33.40 billion yen for the third consecutive month of increase.

Sales of miscellaneous goods such as jewelry and cosmetics rose 2.4 percent to 32.61 billion yen after falling 1.9 percent in February for the first decline in four months.

The figures cover 28 outlets run by 14 department stores.

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