Three major Japanese department store operators suffered slumps in both revenue and profits in the March-August fiscal first half reflecting weak consumer sentiment amid rising product prices and stock market falls.
The three -- J Front Retailing Co, Takashimaya Co and Millennium Retailing Inc -- suffered year-on-year falls of more than 10% in operating profits due mainly to weak clothing sales. Operating revenue also dropped at all three firms.
J Front Retailing, which was set up in September 2007 to integrate the operations of Matsuzakaya and Daimaru, and Takashimaya were also hit by falling demand for jewelry whose profit margins are high.
At Millennium Retailing, the holding company of Seibu Department Stores Ltd and Sogo Co, food sales were brisk but could not offset a slump in clothing sales.
The three firms expect revenue and profit falls also for the full year to February 2009.
J Front Retailing President Tsutomu Okuda said that the environment surrounding consumption is expected to become tougher in the second-half period.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd, also a major department store operator, is set to announce its March-August earnings on Nov 13.© JCN