• Kyodo News

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Department store sales slumped 11.3 percent in April from a year earlier on a same-store basis, down for the 14th month in a row, as consumer sentiment remained bearish, an industry group said Monday.

But the rate of decline narrowed by 1.8 percentage points from March in part because fair weather helped attract customers and some designer merchandise sold well. Sales totaled ¥514.42 billion, according to the Japan Department Stores Association.

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