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Japan-Update

Aoki profit seen plunging 40% as foot traffic wanes

Business suit seller struggles with discount hangover

TOKYO -- Business attire retailer Aoki Holdings apparently suffered a 40% drop in operating profit on the year to about 1 billion yen ($9.04 million) for the April-June quarter as customer traffic declined.

The Yokohama-based company had offered discounts at many branches during the year-ago quarter to prepare for a series of renovations. But Aoki held fewer pre-renovation sales this April-June, leading to an 11% drop in footfall at existing stores. In addition to a profit decline in its fashion business, the retailer faced heavy renovation costs at its internet and manga c

Overall sales likely stayed flat at 46 billion yen, even with a 5% dip in the fashion business on a same-store basis. Aoki opened more internet and manga cafes, while its wedding venue business drew more customers.

April-June results are due out Friday.

(Nikkei)

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