Tue, 09 Mar 2021

TOKYO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Japan's department store sales in 2020 slumped a record 26.7 percent from a year earlier, falling to the lowest level since 1975 due to reduced demand from inbound tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japan Department Stores Association said on Friday.

According to data from the industry body, sales by all department stores nationwide stood at 4.22 trillion yen (40.73 billion U.S. dollars).

Meanwhile, sales on a same-store basis plunged 25.7 percent, the data showed.

During the first state of emergency declared last April when stores were temporarily closed, duty-free sales tumbled 80.2 percent from the previous year, the association said.

In the capital of Tokyo and western city of Osaka and eight other major cities, sales on a same-store basis declined 28.1 percent, while those in other regions dropped 19.4 percent.

By product, clothing sales fell 31.1 percent as more people tended to work at home amid the ongoing pandemic and demand for suits and dresses lowered.

In December, sales on a same-store basis declined 13.7 percent from a year earlier. The association said that the decline was smaller than that in the previous month due partly to strong demand for New Year dishes as more people refrain from dining out.

According to the association, sales at 41 major department stores sank some 35 percent in the first 18 days of this month, as business hours were shortened after the second state of emergency over the outbreak was declared.

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