Japanese like-for-like convenience store sales in December fell 1% year-on-year, the 18th month running that has recorded a slide in sales.

The Japanese Franchise Association blamed poor weather, including heavy rain and snow and low temperatures, for the fall in sales.

On an all-stores basis, convenience store sales increased 2.3% in December year-on-year to ¥602.65bn (US$5.1bn). Average spending per customer fell 0.6% in December on a same-store basis. On an all-stores basis, it fell 1.1%.

The number of convenience stores increased by 1.3% in December from a year earlier to 36,932 stores, the association said.

On an all-stores basis, sales rose 2.0% in 2002 to ¥6.85trn. For 2002, sales at outlets open more than one year fell 1.8% from 2001, reported Reuters.