TOKYO, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Japan's department store sales in September declined 33 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Department Stores Association said on Thursday.
According to data from the industry body, sails at 196 outlets run by 73 operators across the country stood at 334 billion yen (3.1 billion U.S. dollars) on a same-store basis in September, marking a decrease for a 12th straight month on a year-on-year basis.
Last September, sales increased 23.1 percent, as consumers made more shopping before the consumption tax was raised from 8 percent to 10 percent. This September, however, sales of personal belongings, including bags and purses from luxury brands and other expensive products such as artwork and jewelry saw a sharp drop.
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and adverse weather also contributed to the drop as people continued to refrain from going out, said the association.
As people tended to spend more time at home due to the pandemic, demand for food items and alcoholic beverages were relatively solid in the reporting month.
According to the association, there have been signs of improvement since people have been returning to department stores that have implemented measures against the coronavirus, among other reasons.