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Contents of department store lucky bags change in post-disaster era

19 Comments

Department stores across Japan will be offering their usual "fukubukro" (lucky bags) for the New Year, but this time, the contents of the bags will reflect themes related to the March 11 disaster.

Some stores said their 10,000-yen bags, for example, will be filled with raincoats, backpacks and other goods useful for volunteer work, in addition to the usual goodies typically found within.

An official with the Seibu Department store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro area said that they decided to include the items after hearing feedback from volunteers in the tsunami-stricken Tohoku area, Sankei Shimbun reported.

A Ginza department store said it will include heat packs in some bags to help consumers get through the cold winter, in light of power conservation measures. Other items to be included in bags are survival food and flashlights.

Many department stores, including Seibu, also reported they will include surprise luxury items in some of their bags, including hotel suite vouchers for use near the soon-to-be-completed Tokyo Sky Tree. Officials say they hope to help people relieve stress built up over the months following the disaster with these unexpected treats.

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19 Comments
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I always thought the bags were full of items they couldn't sell otherwise.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

..and what about Y2000~Y3,000 'Fukubukro?' discontinued or no more in demand?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why people spend money of things they've not seen, may not like... is beyond me. I have never understand the appeal to this. If they want to waste money, why not donate it to Tohoku??

-5 ( +4 / -8 )

there's always the k-car to save the day.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I always thought the same sensei, and I agree with you tmarie. Given that most things I see in a department store I would never buy anyway, my chances of getting "lucky" in the bag are pretty remote.

Would rather order over the internet from Old Navy, The Limited, M&S etc and take advantage of the exchange rate and pick up bargains that way - bargains I have an outside chance of actually wanting to be seen in.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

sensei: They ARE full of things they cannot sell. I've never seen one person I know get anything they REALLY wanted, let alone get anything big. Some use the stuff they get, to be fair, but most seem disappointed they passed out 10,000 or so for stuff they don't want and don't need.

Now some hotels are offering 'lucky bags' wherein they tell you exactly what's in the package -- a discounted stay and expensive dinner at a reduced price (during the off season when they don't have enough bookings). I don't see how it's a 'lucky bag', but that's what they call it, and people here buy into all types of them. It's as bad as a gambling habit.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's a form of gambling, like slots, pachinko, arcades, lotto, etc

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Actually, the contents of the bags are rarely a complete surprise. There are descriptions of what's inside which includes sizes and colors and in many cases you can exchange what's inside if you're dissatisfied. The way friends have explained it to me, you usually end up with something you either don't like or are indifferent to but by turn you end up with something you like enough to have made it worthwhile.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I stay away from the clothing Lucky Bags as it would be a miracle if they fit my western self. Instead, I check out the LBs in the B1 of Takashimaya and the like. Never disappointed. How can one lose with a Lucky Bag from the Big T's miso counter, for instance? It's great.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sensei258 is right, it's really just a form of gambling, you could find your bag has stuff worth many times what you paid for it, but you have to go through the trouble of selling the items - mendokusai!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I buy bags from stores that specialise in goods for my hobbies, etc. Got some good ones and really lucked out, department store, etc ones forget it.

But than my limit is 5.000Yen in total.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Surely stuff they couldn't sell full price. Like anything they discount. Some persons are certainly buying in a silly way. But that can be stuff you need. For instance, I have most of my towels from discounted fukuburo (I buy one left at the end). I don't care the style, and anyway, they let see through the bags and you can choose one with colors at your taste. I got a pile of quality towels for the price of the same amount of shotengai crap towels that fall apart after 3 times in washing machine.

most things I see in a department store I would never buy anyway,

You are particularly fussy. I could do all my shopping in a department store... if someone else paid.

Now some hotels are offering 'lucky bags'... I don't see how it's a 'lucky bag',

You don't understand the meaning of "surprise luxury item". They propose a number of packages with discounted domestic stays, maybe 1000 over all Japan, and only one contains a big prize (like a coupon for an overseas trip). Idem in fashion stores. Let's say the average 10 000 yen bags all contain 20 000 yen of clothes/accessories. Among the 200 bags, one contains a very expensive item like a Rolex watch. That's why they have to put security staff to prevent people from "choosing " the winning bag or even stealing some.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why do people buy them? Because they hope to win something. Just the same reason people buy lottery tickets. But, unlike lottery tickets, with these "lucky bags" at least they know they are going to get something, even if it is unwanted......they can always give it to someone they like (or dislike!).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is once a year of 無駄遣い for fun. If you get something you like, you are very lucky and feel like this year is gonna be good year. If you get all silly things, you and your family/friends just laugh about it.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

How is it gambling ??Ambrosia's right,nearly all dept. stores,sports stores,whatever stores show you exactly what's inside..and if that's not enough you'll probably see a bag that's been ripped open on the table...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, I sometimes do buy Lucky Bags from Bic Camera, Yodobashi and other electronics stores. Most of the items in the bags are usually old, unsold stocks, but I don't care ... I test the gadgets myself, and if I'm satisfied, I usually bring the items back to my country as souvenirs or presents. Several years ago, I bought 12 Swatch watch lucky bags, worth 2,000 yen each, and each bag contained a Swatch watch and some keyholders, mobile phone straps, etc. Perfect gift to 12 friends or relatives.

As for the clothes Lucky Bags, I rarely buy those, since they're usually the same contents (down jacket, fleece shirt, face towel, towel, etc).

But food Lucky Bags? Almost always.

2 ( +1 / -0 )

I think Lucky Bags are a fun novelty in Japan. Last year, I got an awesome down jacket, a really nice scarf, and three shirts (two of which I really like), all for 10,000 yen! The jacket alone would have been worth double that! Not too sure if the survival kit lucky bag will be as appealing though... Though according to the article, if I read it correctly, these items will be added in addition to the regular goodies inside. Win!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can`t afford to buy stuff in departo stores! Uniqlo is as near as I get!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lucky Bags is a wonderful tradition. Any form of it transfers the culture to a younger generation. Thank you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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