Three of the country’s four major department store operators posted year-on-year growth in same-store sales in March, backed by brisk sales of luxury goods to visitors from abroad.
Sales at Takashimaya Co. grew 1.2 percent, while figures rose 0.9 percent at both Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. and J. Front Retailing Co., which runs the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores.
Sogo & Seibu Co., a unit of Seven & I Holdings Co., saw its sales fall 0.7 percent.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings posted double-digit growth in sales of duty-free items for the first time in eight months.
“Appetite is growing for spring clothing due to a rise in temperatures” after weak clothing sales during a mild winter, an official with the company said.
Some chains launched sales of items linked to the country’s next era name, Reiwa, as soon as it was announced late Monday morning.
“We expect that the celebratory mood will spark consumption,” a Takashimaya official said.
Reiwa will replace the current era, Heisei, on May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne.