Supermarket sales decline 0.7% in May

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Sales at supermarkets in Japan in May fell 0.7 percent from a year before on a same-store basis, down for the second straight month, industry data showed Monday.

The drop came as supermarkets saw customer numbers fall due to the effects of an unprecedented 10-day holiday from late April to early May. Another factor was a decline in prices of certain vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage.

Overall sales at 10,473 stores run by 57 companies came to ¥1,022.7 billion, the Japan Chain Stores Association said.

Food sales shrank 0.6 percent, down for a second consecutive month. Clothing sales fell 1.9 percent, down for 17 months in a row, although sales of clothing for spring and summer saw some growth.

Sales of home-related goods declined for the first time in six months, dragged down by sluggish demand for furniture.

“As many consumers remained budget-minded, spending on daily goods continued weak,” said Atsushi Inoue, a senior official at the association.Speech

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