Japanese Dept. Store Apparel Sales Decline for Fifth Consecutive Year

The Japan Department Stores Association reported that same-store sales (79 firms, 219 stores) in 2018 declined by 0.8% from the previous year to 5,887,003 million yen. The last time annual sales decreased was in 2016.

Apparel sales were down 3.1% to 1,772,568 million yen, thus decreasing for five straight years.

Unfavorable weather had a great impact on sales of major apparel items, which decreased across the board. Sales of men’s wear (including accessories), which increased in 2017, fell 2.8% last year to 385,936 million yen, along with sales of women’s wear by 2.8% to 1,131,839 million yen, children’s wear by 3.9% to 135,506 million yen and other garments by 6.5% to 119,287 million yen.

Among the five major categories, sales increased for miscellaneous articles such as shoes and bags (up 1.6% to 785,950 million yen) and sundries including cosmetics, artworks, jewelry and precious metals (up 5.0% to 1,134,465 million yen).

Inbound shoppers increased for the second straight year to all-time highs in number and sales, climbing 28.6% to 5.24 million with sales totaling 339.6 billion yen.