Friday, February 26, 2021

Japan turns to cuddly toys to boost Lunar New Year sales without Chinese tourists

Japan is feeling the loss of Chinese tourists who normally come to stock up on expensive gifts for Chinese New Year.

Other News

Tidak perlu surat polis rentas negeri hantar anak ke asrama

Ibu bapa hanya perlu menunjukkan surat yang dikeluarkan pihak sekolah semasa melalui sekatan jalan raya.

No police permit needed to cross borders for school

Parents only need to show letters issued by the schools at police roadblocks.

Kes baru Covid-19 jatuh bawah 2,000

12 lagi kematian dicatatkan.

New cases drop below 2,000 mark

12 more deaths reported.

MIC leader questions ‘fickle-minded’ Umno chiefs

MIC deputy president M Saravanan says the party will only decide based on discussions in Barisan Nasional.

Japan’s cuddly bear character Rilakkumma, who has captured the hearts of children and adults alike with his laidback demeanour, holds pride of place on the shelves of swanky department stores in Tokyo, supported by Hello Kitty and other plush toys.

The Lunar New Year began on Friday and these toys are taking the place of home appliances from rice cookers to electric toilet seats normally favoured by Chinese tourists who are absent this year because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“Due to the current travel bans, it’s impossible for them to come to Japan,” said Jin Xuezhu, of the Laox duty-free retail chain, which runs a store in Tokyo’s Akihabara district.

The Chinese have accounted for 90% of the chain’s customers since 2014, Jin said, adding, “So the absence of that 90% is having a huge impact on our business.”

The sharp contraction in global tourism brought by the pandemic has forced the chain to shutter half of its 24 stores last year to cut costs and restore cash flow.

Now it is refurbishing its image, adding friendly touches to lure domestic customers.

“We have put out many hobby and toy goods that are unique to Akihabara,” Jin said. “Before we were branded as a duty-free shop, but last year we renovated our stores so that Japanese customers can also feel welcome.”

Laox has not forgotten its clientele in China, hosting live broadcasts from Tokyo since last autumn on Chinese e-commerce platforms, such as those of electronic giant Suning and messaging app Wechat.

“We have great expectations for online shopping through livestreams,” said Cui Wenzhe, the manager of the chain’s live commerce section.

The chain hosted 350 such broadcasts last year and expects even better numbers during the Lunar New Year holiday, he added.

“We’re also looking forward to more sales events for Valentine’s Day.”

Laox declined to provide details of the hit to current Lunar New Year sales, but acknowledged the pandemic’s “huge impact” on its business.

Although Japan has not suffered virus outbreaks on the scale of other major economies, such as Britain and the US, it has just extended by another month its state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions.

The continued travel ban, particularly the absence of holidaying Chinese for a second successive year, is expected to hurt Tokyo retailers further.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

KKM perjelas kenapa jarum suntikan vaksin berbeza warna

Penggunaan dua jenis jarum suntikan yang berbeza adalah  mengikut keperluan ketika prosedur suntikan.

Ketika program imunisasi bermula, teori menentang vaksin muncul dalam bentuk ‘penyelidikan perubatan’

Salah satu dakwaan oleh ‘jurnal perubatan’ memberi amaran vaksin Pfizer boleh menyebabkan penyakit berkait otak.

Property market holding steady despite pandemic-induced woes

No change reported in overall asking prices for the final quarter of 2020, with the property market expected to improve considerably in 2021.

Ibu bapa punca peningkatan obesiti dalam kalangan kanak-kanak semasa pandemik

Ibu bapa menjadikan makanan ringan bergoreng, keropok atau gula-gula bagi membantu anak-anak kekal fokus sewaktu sesi pembelajaran dan pengajaran di rumah.

Unicef sambut baik pembukaan semula sekolah di Malaysia

Agensi PBB itu berkata guru dan kakitangan sekolah perlu divaksin sejurus petugas barisan hadapan dan kumpulan berisiko tinggi.