Emergency measures hit department store sales

Japan's department stores have had a tough start to the month. Early May is typically a boom time for them as shoppers take advantage of the spring holidays, but their sales suffered this year due to anti-coronavirus measures.

The Daimaru Matsuzakaya chain says its sales from May 1 to 16 were 57 percent lower than two years ago, before the pandemic. Takashimaya saw a drop of nearly 48 percent and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings about 40 percent.

Department stores in Tokyo, Osaka and other prefectures had to close most of their floor space in that period because of the state of emergency.