• Kyodo News

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Convenience store sales in August rose 1.0 percent from a year earlier on a same-store basis for the second consecutive month of growth, the Japan Franchise Association said Wednesday.

The rise was thanks to strong sales of summer seasonal items, such as ice cream, amid scorching temperatures nationwide.

Sales at convenience stores run by 10 association members, including Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and Lawson Inc., totaled ¥676.90 billion, the industry body said.

The number of customers in the reporting month rose for the third month in a row to 1.20 billion, up 2.9 percent, as more people visited to escape the summer heat, association officials said.

Separately, the Japan Chain Stores Association said Wednesday that nationwide supermarket sales in August fell 1.1 percent from a year earlier on a same-store basis, extending their losing streak to 21 months.

Sales of summer-related products were solid, but the gains were dampened by sluggish sales of autumnal items due to the record heat wave, the association said.

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