• Kyodo News

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Department store sales fell 4.3 percent in 2008 to ¥7.38 trillion on a same-store basis, down for the 12th straight year and the third-largest fall under the current data system introduced in 1965, an industry body said Monday.

The dip was due largely to sluggish sales of clothing, a main sales item for department stores, amid lower consumption, according to the Japan Department Stores Association.

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