Department store sales slipped to 3.98 trillion yen in the January-June period, down 1.7 percent from the same period last year and underlining depressed consumer spending, the Japan Department Stores Association said Wednesday.

The figure covers sales at 292 department stores run by 113 operators nationwide. The year-on-year percentage change was adjusted for changes in the number of stores.

Sales at stores in Japan’s six largest cities fell 2.5 percent during the six-month period, with sales in Tokyo alone registering a 3 percent fall, the association said.

In June alone, department stores sales totaled 663.03 billion yen, down 1.1 percent from a year earlier, marking the third consecutive month of decline.

The decrease was smaller than the 2.1 percent drop in May, helped partly by discount sales and the favorable effects of sales-floor renewals at those stores.

But sales of clothes, the largest sales segment for department stores, remained slack as demand for summer clothes did not pick up amid unseasonably cool weather, the association said.

Demand from large-lot corporate customers also continued to fall, it added.

Sales fell 2 percent in the clothing segment to 253.82 billion yen, while foodstuffs, the second largest segment, rose 1.9 percent to 165.3 billion yen.

Sales in the personal goods segment, including accessories, inched up 0.2 percent to 76.73 billion yen. The sundry goods segment climbed 0.3 percent to 92.93 billion yen.

Sales of household items fell 12.3 percent to 41.31 billion yen.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.