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Business trends

Japan retailers feel chill with big-spending Chinese gone

Drugstores, cosmetics shops and department stores see sales fall

Matsumotokiyoshi saw essentially flat growth in tax-free sales last quarter after a 34% jump a year earlier. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)

TOKYO -- Earnings season in Japan is highlighting a recent plunge in inbound spending and its impact on drugstore chains, cosmetics makers and department stores previously favored by big-spending Chinese tourists.

Drugstore operator Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings on Friday reported its first net profit drop in two and a half years for the April-June quarter, posting a 2% year-on-year decline to 6.5 billion yen ($61.3 million). Tax-free sales -- under Japan's tax exemption program for foreign visitors -- were essentially flat after surging 34% in April-June 2018.

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