Supermarket sales dropped 3.6 percent in the January-June period from the same period the year before to 6.912 trillion yen on a same-store basis, the Japan Chain Stores Association said Monday.

Although sales of men’s casual clothing were recently buoyed by the government’s “Cool Biz” energy-saving campaign, they failed to offset sluggish sales of supermarket merchandise, it said.

Overall sales of food, by far the biggest merchandise sector in the industry, fell 3.3 percent to 4.075 trillion yen.

Sales of living-related goods, including furniture, electrical household appliances and medicines, sagged 3.6 percent to 1.389 trillion, yen it said.

In June alone, supermarket sales dipped 2.2 percent from a year earlier to 1.159 trillion, yen the association said, adding that the number marked the 16th straight monthly decline.

The association groups 95 supermarket chains running a combined 8,510 stores.

Meanwhile, sales at department stores rose 1.4 percent on a same-store basis in June from a year earlier to 614.40 billion, yen showing a sign of recovery in individual consumption, an industrial body said Monday.

Remodeling of stores and robust sales of men’s casual wear and shoes helped by the energy-saving campaign were factors behind the first sales expansion since January, the Japan Department Stores Association said.

The sales data cover 281 outlets run by 97 department store chains.

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