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Published on : Monday, October 24, 2016
The foreign tourists’ spending in Japan has slowed down against the backdrop of the strong yen coupled with Chinese government’s action in April to charge higher taxes on purchases made abroad and brought home by travellers.
This has hit the department stores in metropolitan areas in Japan hard. September sales to foreign shoppers dropped 10% from a year earlier. This is the sixth consecutive month for fall, the Japan Department Stores Association said Thursday. It added that although foreign visitors increased at shops such as Daimaru, Isetan and Mitsukoshi, per-shopper spending fell.
These retailers are already struggling with slumping sales of clothing lines for Japanese customers and adding to their woes is the drop in per-customer sales.
The western Japan city of Fukuoka has another factor to worry about, inclement weather. A typhoon struck the city home of Hakata port which was counting on inbound tourists during China’s holiday-studded Oct 1-7 period. Thus, the number of buses carrying foreign visitors to Canal City Hakata, a major shopping complex including tax-free outlets, reduced to half in the period this year compared with previous years.