• Kyodo


Convenience store sales fell 7.4 percent in July from a year earlier, marking the fifth consecutive month of decline due to the prolonged rainy season and fewer customer visits amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, an industry body said Thursday.

The decrease in sales in the reporting month was worse than the 5.2 percent fall in June.

Sales of fresh and frozen food items and alcoholic beverages remained firm. However, people continued to refrain from actively going out amid more rainfall than in usual years and the virus pandemic, the Japan Franchise Association said.

In July, same-store sales at seven major convenience store operators totaled ¥865.64 billion ($8.17 billion), down from ¥935.06 billion a year earlier.

The number of shoppers dropped 14.0 percent from the previous year to 1.29 billion, compared with an 11.6 percent decline in the previous month, while average spending per person rose 7.7 percent from a year before to ¥671.3, the industry body said.

Sales in the service category, such as concert and sporting event tickets, were down 16.2 percent from the previous year but improved from the 32.0 percent plunge in June.

The overall number of convenience stores in the nation rose 0.3 percent to 55,797, growing for the fourth straight month.

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