Supermarket sales declining in Japan

23 December 2009

TOKYO: Supermarket sales in Japan have declined in each of the last 12 months, as shoppers in the country continue to rein in their expenditure levels.

New figures from the Japan Chain Stores Association, covering 68 retailers with some 8,185 outlets, showed that year-on-year revenues fell by 8% in November, to ¥1.03 trillion ($11.3bn; €7.9bn; £7.0bn), on a same-store basis.

This followed on from drops of 5.2% in October, 3.4% in August, 4.8% in July and 4.4% in June, according to the industry body.

When taken to include newly-opened stores, totals were down by a slightly more moderate 7.3% in the penultimate month of 2009, compared with a contraction of 3.7% in October.

The government's Cabinet Office has also recently announced that consumer confidence in Japan slipped by one point in November, to 40.5 points.

While the authorities in the Asian nation have launched a ¥7.2 trillion economic stimulus package, Masamichi Adachi, a senior economist at JPMorgan Chase, has suggested it will have a limited impact.

"There's a lot of uncertainty among consumers right now, and the stimulus won't do much to eliminate that sense of uncertainty. For the near term, we expect confidence to stagnate at a low level," he said.

Data sourced from MNI/Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff