Sales of department stores nationwide last year were slightly lower than the previous year due to successive disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes, which makes it the first time in two years.
According to the Japan Department Stores Association, sales of 226 department stores nationwide last year were 5.887 trillion yen, 1.1% lower than the previous year.
In addition, the sales of existing stores also decreased by 0.8% in comparison to shops that were just opened one year prior, for the first time in two years.
The reasons lie mostly in business closure and shortened business hours due to typhoons and earthquakes last year coupled with decreased customers’ visits due to the record hot weather plus the ever-increasing competition with online mail order.
On the other hand, for foreign travelers, sales of cosmetics and luxury brand bags were steady, reaching ¥ 339.6 billion, registering record highs for the second consecutive year.
The Japanese department store association says, “Although it is said that the economic recovery is continuing in the domestic market, the department store’s business environment is tough in fact. I want to make an effort to increase the number of visitors to foreign tourists visiting Japan repeatedly. “