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.© Japan Today