Three of the nation’s four major department store chains posted year-on-year growth in same-store sales in August, backed by brisk demand for such summer products as sandals and parasols following the end of the rainy season.
The growth was also supported by a last-minute surge in demand for goods before the consumption tax hike to 10 percent on Oct. 1.
Takashimaya Co. saw sales rise 3.8 percent, while Sogo & Seibu Co., a unit of Seven & I Holdings Co., reported a 3 percent gain. Sales at Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. rose 2.7 percent.
J. Front Retailing Co., which runs the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores, saw sales inch down 0.3 percent as customer traffic was affected by a tropical storm that struck in mid-August.
“Last-minute demand is beginning to emerge gradually, mainly for expensive items such as watches,” an Isetan Mitsukoshi official said.
The department store chains expect to see a surge in last-minute demand in September.
“We’ve prepared a wide variety of autumn and winter products” to meet such demand, a Sogo & Seibu official said.