• Kyodo

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Japan’s department store sales in January fell 29.7% on a same-store basis from a year earlier, as the number of customers decreased due to another state of emergency in Tokyo and nearby prefectures over the coronavirus, an industry body said Thursday.

Sales of 196 stores run by 73 operators totaled ¥326.51 billion ($3 billion) in the 16th consecutive monthly fall, the Japan Department Stores Association said.

The rate of decline in the reporting month widened from 13.7% in December, with duty-free sales falling 87.4%.

Data from the Japan Chain Stores Association showed that supermarket sales in the country on a same-store basis rose 1.2% from the previous year for the fourth straight month, with people continuing to stock up on food and other items as they refrained from going out amid the virus pandemic.

Food sales climbed 6.2% from a year earlier.

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