The Japanese unit of McDonald’s Corp. said Friday that same store sales in March declined 7.3 percent on year, falling short of year-earlier levels for the first time in four months due to the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan.
The unit said it temporarily closed 264 stores in quake-torn areas. Many of them have resumed operations, but 88 stores hadn’t reopened as of March 31.
In addition, power outages implemented by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in service regions in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures were also having a drag effect on sales. Some store were forced to change opening hours, while the number of stores open 24 hours was reduced to save energy.
The number of customer visits fell 6.9 percent for the first decline in nine months.