The growth rate of total store sales was led by Summit with the highest increase at 9.2%. This was driven by the inflation of prices for agricultural products due to factors such as scorching heat. Life Corporation achieved a 6.0% increase, propelled by the success of their price-focused private brand (PB) “Smile Life.”

On the contrary, Kasumi, based in Ibaraki, experienced a 7.7% decrease. The decision to discontinue coupon distribution for all customers from July and switch to points exclusively for members resulted in a 10.8% decline in existing store customer numbers.

The existing store sales of 54 companies belonging to the Japan Chain Stores Association (Tokyo, Minato-ku) increased by 2.8%, surpassing the previous year for the seventh consecutive month. The sales of food products, which constitute 70% of total sales, increased by 4.8%. However, clothing sales experienced a 3.5% decrease due to the slow start of autumn items influenced by lingering summer conditions.

Due to the heightened focus on cost-saving, consumers show a strong preference for relatively low-priced food items such as chicken, pork mince, and dried fish. The association notes, “There has been a trend of high unit prices and a decrease in the number of purchases for several months.

Source: Nikkei 24th Nov 2024.