Aug. sales at Japan's department stores rise sharply from 2021

Japan's major department stores saw sales rise sharply in August from the same period in 2021, when some parts of the country were under a coronavirus state of emergency.

The store operators released preliminary figures on Thursday.

Sales at Hankyu-Hanshin rose 42.6 percent. Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings logged an increase of 33.6 percent, and Daimaru Matsuzakaya, 29.4 percent.

Brisk sales of jewelry, watches and other pricey items pushed up overall numbers.

But spending has yet to return to earlier levels.

The stores reported decreases from 8 to 14 percent compared to August in 2019. That was before the pandemic took hold and ahead of a hike in the consumption tax.