Sales at supermarkets fell 1.7 percent in February from the year before on a same-store basis for a second straight monthly decline, while department store sales rebounded 0.5 percent following a marginal fall in January, industry groups said Friday.

The Japan Chain Stores Association said sales at 8,745 outlets run by its 93 member supermarket chains totaled 1.025 trillion yen in the reporting month.

The Japan Department Stores Association reported the same day that sales at 283 stores run by its 96 member companies came to 523.5 billion yen in the month.

The supermarket group attributed the continued fall to the slow sales of spring clothing as well as to rainy weekends in the latter half of February that deterred consumers from going out.

In contrast, the emporium group linked the rebound to the effects of bargain campaigns and a reactionary effect to a sales fall in February the previous year.

Sales of food products at supermarkets, the biggest commodity category at such retailers, fell 1.8 percent to 645.5 billion yen, while those of clothing shrank 2.2 percent to 114.8 billion yen.

Sales of household goods, including utensils, medicine, cosmetics, furniture and home electronics appliances, the second-largest sector at supermarkets, dropped 2.5 percent to 190.0 billion yen.

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