Department stores kick off year-end, New Year shopping campaigns


Many department stores and other retailers across Japan have kicked off their year-end gift-giving (oseibo) and New Year fukubukuro (lucky bag) campaigns, accepting orders earlier than usual.

Retailers are hoping consumers will place orders early to avoid overcrowding in stores due to the coronavirus. They are also offering many gourmet food items that families can enjoy at home as many people have opted not to dine out as much as before amid the pandemic.

Major department stores around Japan are including specialities from hard-hit local restaurants in their gifts.

Fukubukuro are usually sold on the first few days of the New Year. The lucky bag is a Japanese tradition where department stores and shops fill bags with random leftover goods from the past year and sell them at a sizeable discount.

The tradition is said to come from a Japanese proverb that says “There is fortune in leftovers" (Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru). The value of the items is often 50% more than the selling price. The retail price can range from 5,000 yen to hundreds of thousands of yen and even higher in luxury brand stores.

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It's not even November yet. A lucky bag? Anyone ever get lucky bag that's lucky? I did get a bizarre shirt once so I was lucky only becacause nobody bought it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have never in my life seen any sort of bargain in Japan, especially during the holiday season. Back home, big Black Friday discounts, Xmas - foods are half price, bargains galore.

I'd rather not risk a lucky bag - never pay for something you can't see. One man's treasure is another man's garbage.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This early? That desperate?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oseibo - a dictionary defines "Gifts to express gratitude for favors received during the year" followed by "Kotoshi mo Yoroshiku." (Please be nice to me this year too) For westerners, this may sound a bribery. This tradition worked when Japanese were hired on permanent basis. But today's hire and fire society, this is becoming a useless practice.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My wife used to get them until I showed her the price of individual products from rakuten and the price she paid for the bag was nearly double the price from rakuten

7 ( +7 / -0 )

what a scam....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The value of the items is often 50% more than the selling price. 

Not much of bargain then....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Awesome, I look forward lucky bag, in fact we have made a game of it, to see who gets the most bizarre gift. It's new kind fun tradition but the winner gets 10,000 yen. So it is a lucky bad there are those out there who just miss the point and only see negative.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I can pick up items discounted by 70% in most shops now...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My local Aeon supermarket has been playing some Christmas songs since a week ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've gotten one almost every year since the 90's, but not likely this year due to economic hardship caused by the economic downturn induced by irrational fear of the virus with a 99.5% survivability rate(CDC most recent data).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I would even get angry if someone would give me this garbage as a free present. lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fast forward as usual.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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