Japanese Chain Stores Report Apparel Sales Decrease for 26th Straight Year

The Japan Chain Stores Association (56 firms, 9,904 stores) reported that same-store sales in 2017 decreased by 0.9% compared to the previous year to 12,917,532 million yen, thus decreasing for the second consecutive year.

Apparel sales declined by 2.3% to 1,072,097 million yen, and declined for the twenty-sixth consecutive year. Apparel sales decreased for all major categories: men’s wear 208,193 million yen (down 3.1%); women’s wear, 306,609 million yen (down 4.0%); and other garments, 557,295 million yen (down 1.0%).

Unseasonable weather had a great impact, and apparel sales during the first half of last year decreased for all months except for April (up 0.2%), and in the second half, apparel sales regained vigor as the drop in temperature from the beginning of autumn had a favorable effect, with sales increasing in September (up 1.4%), November (up 0.2%) and December (up 2.4%).

On a quarterly basis, apparel sales decreased by 6.3% during January-March, 2.0% during April-June and 1.1% during July-August, but rose by 0.3% during October-December. Men’s and women’s wear sales decreased in all four quarters, while sales of other garments rose by 0.3% during July-September and 1.6% during October-December.

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