• Kyodo

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Sales at convenience stores were nearly flat in January, posting a 0.1 percent gain from a year earlier, on favorable sales of salads, frozen foods and daily necessities, an industry body said Tuesday.

The same-store sales of eight major convenience store operators totaled ¥741.8 billion, logging the first increase in eight months, the Japan Franchise Association said.

The number of customers fell 2.8 percent to 1.18 billion for the 23rd straight monthly decline, dragged down by snowy weather.

Average spending per customer rose 2.9 percent to ¥631.3, up for the 34th consecutive month and helped by solid sales of cooked items such as Chinese buns, fried food, ready-to-eat items and noodles, the association said.

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