Owing mostly to price cuts for imports thanks to an historically high yen, Japan’s convenience store sales in July rose 0.5% on the previous year on a same-store basis to JPY670.10bn (US$7.86bn).
This the first increase in 14 months, largely owing to strong sales of summer season items such as ice creams and drinks and heavy discounts on some 30 import items, the Japan Franchise Association said today (20 August).
The survey covered outlets operated by 10 major convenience store companies that belong to the association.
While a sudden increase in value of the yen on foreign exchange markets has Japan’s export companies worried, it is also expected to be a boon for consumers and domestic retailers.
Ito-Yokado supermarkets, part of the Seven & i Holdings Co. group which also operates the 7-11 convenience store chain, is holding high-yen sales at 161 stores across Japan through 22 August. The supermarket has discounted some 30 import items, such as South African grapefruit by as much as 50%.
“It’s definitely tied to a jump in sales,” one assistant manager of an Ito-Yokado branch in Tokyo’s Ota Ward told the Mainichi newspaper.
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