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The retail market in Japan is dominated by high street shops, station buildings, department stores, shopping centres, and outlet malls scattered throughout the country. A unique retail characteristic in Japan is that many of the major terminal stations, which connects several railway lines, have large underground retail malls almost the size of an over-ground shopping mall. Western-style shopping centres are uncommon in urban centres but are conventional in suburban areas, located in either train station buildings or commercial buildings near stations. Japanese consumers continually seek new retail experiences and are willing to pay a premium for quality goods and services. However, competitively priced retailers, such as drug stores and fast-fashion outlets are also a key player in the market. Sporting brands are also expanding their standalone shops and increasing their presence in major retail areas with convenience stores following suit. Department stores are still trusted by consumers for their credibility and reliability in product selections. Although, their influence on Japanese consumer trends, particularly on brands, is weakening. Nonetheless, they attract a large number of foreign tourists and tax-free article underpins their sales figures. High street shops remain a showcase of the latest fashion trends. TV commercials, magazines, the internet and billboard advertisements are effective marketing tools. Word-of-mouth communications are particularly powerful and help to facilitate trials of a new brand or product. Typical retailers in Japan operate from 10:00 to 21:00 every day, except the New Year holiday on January 1st. There are two main sales seasons in Japan, the July summer sales and the January New Year sales. These coincide with the summer and winter salary bonuses, which typically translate into a surge in sales revenues for many retailers. Also there is April sales for new starters, as it is the start of the fiscal year for many students and workers.

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Time Zone

GMT +9

Cost of a Pair of Jeans

14,040.00 JPY

Cost of a Cup of Coffee

370.00 JPY

Cities in Japan

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Charles Kelly
Meiji Yasuda Seimei Building, 2-1-1
Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005
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