Japan supermarket sales down for 13th straight year in FY 2009

15:05, April 22, 2010      

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Japan's supermarket sales in fiscal 2009 fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier on a same-store basis, marking the 13th straight year of decline, the Japan Chain Stores Association said Thursday.

Supermarket sales in 2009 totaled 12.70 trillion yen (136.49 billion U.S. dollars), the industry body said, and have not risen since 1996 when sales stood at 16.98 trillion yen (182.50 billion U.S. dollars).

Sales at supermarkets in Japan open for at least a year dropped 6.6 percent in March from a year earlier to 976.1 billion yen (10. 49 billion U.S. dollars), the Japan Chain Stores Association said, citing unseasonable weather as affecting sales of clothing items and other goods.

March was the 16th successive year-on-year drop in supermarket sales and the association also pointed towards a slow recovery in Japan's employment market, as well as stagnant wages as contributing to consumers' thriftiness.

Sales at stores newly opened during the past year also fell in March from a year earlier, declining 6.7 percent.

The Japan Chain Stores Association's figures track the combined sales at 64 supermarket chains which together operate 7,992 outlets -- the numbers have been adjusted to facilitate comparison on a same-store basis.



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