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It never rains but it pours for Japan's department store operators, once the driving force behind Japan's bubble-era consumerism. This summer already-flagging sales plunged further as recession-hit consumers cut back on spending. Nature didn't help out, either, as poor weather hurt sales.
Yet, even when the recession eases and the weather improves, don't expect a big bounce in sales. These days, Japan's recession-hit shoppers increasingly prefer to shop without ever leaving home.
The numbers are startling. The Nikkei daily estimates online shopping sales in Japan rose 22 percent to $67.2bn. That's despite Japan's deepest recession in the postwar era.
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