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Tax-free retailer Laox to solicit early retirements due to new virus

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This sounds like LAOX is using the virus as an excuse to get rid of workers. I understand that they and others have been hit by the reduction in inbound Chinese and other foreign tourists, but if your company cannot take a small hit without almost immediately being in financial dire straights there is something wrong.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

How do you know they just weren’t taking an unexpected opportunity to make a business move that benefits them?

And how do you know they’re in “dire financial straights”?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Typo? Should read "resign" not "retire".

13 ( +13 / -0 )

but if your company cannot take a small hit without almost immediately being in financial dire straights there is something wrong.

A small hit? It is a tax-free retailer so no tourist means no sales. I would say the recent events are a big hit to any business in Japan associated with oversea tourism. At the moment no one knows how long it will last so the move is unfortunate but justified.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

As soon as Japan get 1000 of cases, they will be put on travel advisory entering into the US

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I wonder how many of those staff are foreigners?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Well domino effect started. More people from different fields will be force to leave/quit/retire as virus spreads.

Now it's mostly tourism but if you don't make money you don't spend money or you spend money you got from banks - credit cards etc.

Therefore you don't s buy electronics, new cars, apartments and other things. Which means that the great poverty is coming.

If you are a gaikokujin you still have a chance to leave Japan before it will be too late at least till the Olympics...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yahoo Japan Corp said Friday it is calling on all employees to avoid commuting during rush hours and is banning meetings of more than 100 people in principle.

A hundred+ people in a meeting????? For a tech company this is appalling

Video conference anyone? Imagine how mush wasted productivity is involved in getting 100+ people to a meeting.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Smart move. It’s time to shift away from a tourism-dependent economy that the Abe government has been touting for the last 7 years, and concentrate on domestic markets.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is what happens when companies put all their eggs in one basket, relying almost entirely on Chinese tourists. Some of these businesses were not even interested in non-Chinese customers. Poor long-term business plan. Well, you reap what you sow!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Early retirement at 40...from LAOX??

I think theres a lot of errors in that headline.

More like they are pressuring people to resign!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

A really really good and progressive step from Yahoo's end.

Packed trains and buses are one major source of spread of the infection.

All companies which can allow 'teleworking' should follow Yahoo's example. This would inturn, give space to people who have to travel compulsorily, and reduce the rush hour burden.

That's what I call social responsibility.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Tax-free store operator Laox Co will solicit 140 employees, or 20 percent of its total workforce, to take early retirement, due to falls in inbound tourists amid the coronavirus outbreak.

They've had one bad month and they are seeking to cut 20% of staff. Something suggests that there is more going wrong than just the impact of coronavirus.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Retirement with severance after two years? Sounds like a steal for the employee.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They've had one bad month and they are seeking to cut 20% of staff. Something suggests that there is more going wrong than just the impact of coronavirus.

Or, maybe they just took the opportunity that presented itself to do something that would benefit the company.

Or, maybe an infinite number of other things.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Out of the major electronics chains (Yodobashi/Bic/Yamada), Laox far and away targets Chinese tourists the most aggressively. All offer Duty Free shopping, of course, but Laox was the one most likely to use loud, Chinese language announcements and stock bakugai goods right near the front entrance. For a long time this was probably quite profitable for them, but we now see the risks of putting all of your eggs in one basket.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What I’m trying to say is that their business model is almost completely dependent on inbound Chinese tourism, and if that dries up completely it’s not surprising at all that they would find themselves in a very difficult situation very quickly. No need for complicated explanations or conspiracy theories here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fighto!Today  09:17 am JST

This is what happens when companies put all their eggs in one basket, relying almost entirely on Chinese tourists. Some of these businesses were not even interested in non-Chinese customers. Poor long-term business plan. Well, you reap what you sow!

Laox is owned by Chinese retailer Suning.com Co., Ltd in Nanjing since 2009.

Maybe do some simple research before getting the anti-Japan trumpet out and playing the same old tune.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

"It has become clear that we need to shift from a structure that depends on inbound travelers from China,"

They should have done that before.

Laox is owned by Chinese retailer Suning.com Co., Ltd in Nanjing since 2009.

Didn't know that, thanks. They still should have shifted from a structure that depends on Chinese tourists.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I dread to think what the J-economy would have been like without the massive spending by tourist especially the chinese.

It is not talked about but the economy was being propped up by tourist spending.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A cruel move. It's more difficult for older people to find new jobs. They should have lay off the younger workers, as there are plenty of jobs for them around, statistically around 1.5 for every job seeker.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Guys guys,

We all know it's not only tourism, transportation is related as they drove that Chinese tourists around. One company in Kyoto already had to cut salary pay for this month by 20% because there is no work for drivers. By saying that regular transportation services will need to be changed as you don't need so many public buses routes if they running half empty.

Also don't forget that 70% of Japanese gdp came from service industry. So get ready for eating rice after Olympics and live under the bridge if you don't have your own place in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What I’m trying to say is that their business model is almost completely dependent on inbound Chinese tourism, and if that dries up completely it’s not surprising at all that they would find themselves in a very difficult situation very quickly

Abe’s “third arrow” in a nutshell. Japanese consumers weren’t spending enough so Japan Inc. was turned into a bazaar for Chinese shoppers, and a theme park for tourists.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Laox is owned by Chinese retailer Suning.com Co., Ltd in Nanjing since 2009.

So, Chinese money leaves the country. How does this benefit Japan?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japanese markets are saturated, people's homes are chock full of landfill in the form of electronic goods, and the economy has been stagnant since the early '90's. If the government wants to do something to improve the employment situation, they should employ an international team of economists as advisors. Local talent just doesn't seem able to find the solution - or Japanese companies are loathe to implement them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Volunteer to quit or what? Get fired without the benefits? Labor office is going to be all over them if it happens that way. Not to mention that the people who do quit wont be able to collect unemployment insurance for at least a month after leaving "voluntarily".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For now, core working time will be shortened by two hours from noon to 3 p.m.

This makes zero sense, in keeping with the theme of lack of cents.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is what happens when companies put all their eggs in one basket, relying almost entirely on Chinese tourists. Some of these businesses were not even interested in non-Chinese customers. Poor long-term business plan. Well, you reap what you sow!

Well. It is true that one should not put all their eggs in one basket. However, sometimes there is only one basket that is good enough to use. In my own opinion, western tourists are more into sight seeings. On the other hand, asian tourists, especially the Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong people, would spend half their time sight seeings and the rest shoppings during their stay in Japan. The way some Chinese tourist shop is really crazy. One time I read online that a pair of Chinese couple bought so many things that they had to pack some up, went to the post office and mailed it back home first. You simply cannot find another basket as good as that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, I guess it's better than just axing them and giving them nothing. I think that's what a number of smaller companies in retailing / tourism etc will unfortunately be doing over the next few months. Not really sure if I'd want to work in a place like that. The chances of catching it are so much higher.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smart move. It’s time to shift away from a tourism-dependent economy that the Abe government has been touting for the last 7 years, and concentrate on domestic markets.

I agree that Japan should not rely on a tourism dependent economy because it is not really sustainable in a country like Japan.

However, I also think that a few Japanese companies are using the virus outbreak as an easy excuse for all of their problems instead of the lack vision for the company, incompetent management, and no innovation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

> This is what happens when companies put all their eggs in one basket, relying almost entirely on Chinese tourists. Some of these businesses were not even interested in non-Chinese customers. Poor long-term business plan. Well, you reap what you sow!

HillclimberToday  10:19 am JST

Laox is owned by Chinese retailer Suning.com Co., Ltd in Nanjing since 2009. Maybe do some simple research before getting the anti-Japan trumpet out and playing the same old tune.

Big Chuckle!

The poster is usually praising Japan to the hilt and encouraging the nation to ganbare!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Or change the self-defeating "expiration date" on older workers. Get ride of ageism and let people retire when they are ready to...age 40, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, heck 99 if everyone is happy with the worker. "One size fits all" is too restrictive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For clarification, if you are not a foreign tourist, i.e. 99.999999% of Japan, it is not possible to make purchase goods from Laox. I assume this is some sort of legislative restriction placed on them so that they can’t move onto the Japanese retailers’ turf.

It’s a shaky business model to say the least.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Bungle - I think you mean that if you are not a foreign tourist, then you can't make Tax free purchases from Laox (or infact any other Store operating such a scheme).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway, Laox is a bit over-priced for domestic stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think you mean that if you are not a foreign tourist, then you can't make Tax free purchases from Laox (or infact any other Store operating such a scheme).

I was in a branch of Laox today - deserted so presumably there is some truth to the article. Staff showed me the door when I told them I was Japan resident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Bungle - the Staff were probably doing you a service, since you should have known better than to shop there for the over pricing of domestic stuff.

They generally however sell products that can be used both locally and overseas, which for example if you wanted a video tape recorder that had both dual PAL/NTSC standards then it'd make sense that you were looking around in their store. (Though that is an out of date example - these days, it's usually dual voltage Rice Cookers which are popular with the Chinese... )

If I wished to buy a Japanese Trinket to send to a friend overseas I could go to Laox and buy one.. they wouldn't throw me out, so I think there may have been something lost in Communication as to your experience. But if I wanted to buy I rice cooker to use at home, I'd be stupid to buy one there....

Perhaps, in order to Support Laox, we should all go to one of their Stores and try to buy something, in order to determine whether what you're saying is correct ? Nice try, but daft.

Laox needs to adapt. Were they to change their business model, and focus upon the domestic international population they would probably see a higher clientele base which would support them during these times of tourist declines. However, their product range doesn't affordably cater for that market niche at present, so they have adopted the standard fire the "Employees" approach.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru

Not to mention that the people who do quit wont be able to collect unemployment insurance for at least a month after leaving "voluntarily".

It is three and the half months.

and for a shorter period.

A friend worked for 19.6 years and received for 4 months. The first month he received 48, 000yen while his medical insurance while he was receiving unemployment benefit was 92,000yen per month based on previous year income and had to pay kokumin nenkin 16,000yen per month as well as city tax which is also high. Ridiculous, how gov't thinks an unemployed person could pay 130,000yen monthly from 48,000. So whether you like it or not, you won't be able to pay and end up being a debtor to the government and city you live.

Taxes are based on your previous year income, except you weren't working or you were in very low paying job, you end up with far higher payments. The government doesn't care, nobody has their previous year income stashed away somewhere purposely to pay for medical insurance when they quit and it is not given any thought by anyone.

Though based on your average income the last 3 months before you quit, If you are above 60 you get about 4855yen per day which translates to max 135,000yen and below 60 on average 6,000yen per day

Quitting a job no matter what is frowned upon here. Even the Emperor didn't have it easy quitting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

retirement at 40?  Is the question of the day somehow related to this?  Unemployment in Japan so low surely these folks will find another job pretty quickly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This must be a joke to cut cost of workers, what else is new ???. I have a new title for poor minded japanese people. EXCUSESE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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