“Hatsu-uri” or New Year sales at major department stores in Japan from January 1st to 3rd were reportedly vigorous.
Seibu Ikebukuro Honten reported that the number of shoppers and sales during the first three days of this year exceeded the previous year.
Especially popular were fukubukuros, which are New Year grab bags filled with unknown random products and sold for a substantial discount, such as those containing mainly women’s sundries including cosmetics, men’s sundries, jewelry and foods. Expensive fukubukuros led sales, and those containing men’s luxury items costing 200,000-300,000 yen were sold out, along with globally limited 50 fukubukuros containing a platinum Mazinger Z character priced at 2,017,000 yen.
At Takashimaya, sales of fukubukuros were about the same as last year, and overall sales rose by 2%. Women’s wear sales increased sluggishly, whereas sales of men’s and children’s wear increased.
Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi Honten began New Year sales on January 2nd, and Isetan Shinjuku Honten and Mitsukoshi Ginza on the 3rd. Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi Honten opened 10 minutes earlier as over 5,000 people (10% more than last year) lined up for the New Year sales. Sales on the first day were 2% higher than the previous year.
Although inbound sales have been sluggish due to a decrease in unit price, high-priced items such as jewelry and luxury brands sold actively during the New Year sales period. Takashimaya reported that New Year inbound sales climbed 20%, and at Seibu Ikebukuro Honten, many foreign shoppers enjoyed purchasing fukubukuros, and tax-free counters were busy throughout the day.