• Kyodo News

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Department store sales in 2010 declined 3.1 percent from the previous year on a same-store basis, down for the 14th consecutive year due to weak consumer confidence amid the economic downturn, an industry group said Tuesday.

Sales totaled ¥6.29 trillion, the lowest level since 1982, according to the Japan Department Stores Association.

The hot summer dampened sales of autumn and winter clothing, an association official said. Clothing sales, accounting for around 35 percent of the total, fell 4.7 percent.

Sales of luxury items, including artwork and jewelry, were also sluggish, down 3.7 percent, due to weak consumer sentiment partly stemming from falls in stock prices, the official said.

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