TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's convenience store sales fell 1.1 percent in September from a year earlier, affected by declining sales of tobacco products, an industry body said Monday.
Same-store sales of seven major convenience store operators totaled 877.78 billion yen ($8.1 billion), the Japan Franchise Association said. The result followed a slight increase in August.
Their sales in September 2018 were propped up by strong demand for cigarettes in advance of the hike in the country's tobacco tax the following month, according to the association.
The number of customers increased for the first time in seven months, up 0.6 percent, while average spending per customer decreased for the first time in 11 months, down 1.6 percent, dragged down by weaker sales of tobacco products, it said.