Four major department store operators saw dismal business results in the March to May period due to impacts of the novel coronavirus epidemic, according to their earnings reports released by Wednesday.
All four firms suffered year-on-year plunges in operating revenue and reported operating losses in the first three months of their current business year to February 2021.
Of the four, J. Front Retailing Co., operator of the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores, logged the largest operating loss, at ¥27.1 billion, compared with year-before operating profit of ¥12.7 billion.
Operating loss came to ¥7.3 billion at Takashimaya Co., ¥1.2 billion at Sogo & Seibu Co., a unit of retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co., and ¥959 million at Matsuya Co.
Takashimaya logged about ¥8.5 billion in extraordinary losses including personnel costs related to store closures amid the virus crisis. Matsuya’s special losses stood at about ¥1.3 billion.
Operating revenue dropped 58.6 percent from a year before to ¥113.4 billion at J. Front Retailing, 48.0 percent to ¥116.2 billion at Takashimaya, 53.4 percent to ¥68 billion at Sogo & Seibu and 69.5 percent to ¥6.9 billion at Matsuya.
Customer numbers remain low even though stores have reopened, and a decrease in foreign visitors is also dealing a blow to sales at department stores. An official of Matsuya said that the harsh circumstances are expected to continue.
For the full year, J. Front expects to report an operating loss of ¥30 billion, against the earlier estimate of ¥12 billion in profit. Sogo & Seibu projects its operating loss at ¥8.8 billion.
Takashimaya and Matsuya did not release annual estimates due to uncertainties over the epidemic.
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