Sales at Japan Dept. Store Operator Plunging after Tax Hike

Economy

Tokyo, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)--Major Japanese department store operator J. Front Retailing Co. <3086> has been seeing its same-store sales fall by over 20 pct year on year since the consumption tax was raised to 10 pct from 8 pct on Oct. 1, President Ryoichi Yamamoto said Tuesday.

"The pace of sales rise (in the lead-up to the tax hike) and that of fallback (after the hike) are almost the same as the last time" the consumption tax was raised, to 8 pct from 5 pct, in April 2014, he said at a press conference to announce the company's March-August earnings, noting that sales before the latest tax hike increased by more than 30 pct from a year before.

"Women's clothing has struggled since the 2014 tax hike," Yamamoto said. "We would like to promote renovations to reduce the sales area for women's clothing and increase that for goods such as cosmetics."

J. Front Retailing operates Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores.

Yoshinoya Holdings Co. <9861> President Yasutaka Kawamura separately said Tuesday that sales at its Yoshinoya "gyudon" beef-on-rice bowl restaurants have been almost on par with the year-before levels, thanks in part to a 10 pct discount campaign it introduced to offset a potential drop in demand after the 2-percentage point tax hike.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press