2016 Apparel Sales at Japan’s Chain Stores Down 5.2%

According to the Japan Chain Stores Association, 2016 sales at member stores (57 firms, 9,489 stores) decreased by 0.4% compared to the previous year to 13,042,645 million yen. It was the first decrease in two years.

Apparel sales declined by 5.2% to 1,111,706 million yen. The decline was greater than the 2.1% decrease in 2015.

By item, apparel sales decreased across the board: men’s wear, 218,429 million yen (down 6.1%); women’s wear, 325,230 million yen (down 7.9%); and other garments, 568,046 million yen (down 3.2%). Even on a quarterly basis, the only sales increase was posted by other garments during January-March 2016 (up 0.4%).

Sales of food were strong throughout the year, but apparel and household goods suffered from unseasonable weather.

In household goods, sales of furniture and interior goods rose by 1.9% to 624,756 million yen.