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Japanese convenience store sales in November fell 2.2% from a year before to ¥850.077 billion on a same-store basis, down for the ninth straight month, the Japan Franchise Association said Monday.

The size of drop shrank from 4.3% in October. But the number of store visitors remained weak with a fall of 10.0%, almost unchanged from October’s 10.5%, due to a resurgence of novel coronavirus infections.

The government’s Go To consumption stimulus programs supported recovery in the number of visitors in the first half of November, but the recovery fizzled out later when coronavirus cases increased.

Average spending per customer grew 8.6% thanks to robust home-related consumption, such as of food items, by bulk buyers.

By category, service-related sales, including travel tickets and other vouchers under Go To programs, jumped 23.1%.

Sales decreased both for foods that spoil quickly and processed food items as demand for ready-made meals and frozen foods shrank due to the drop in the number of customers.

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