Black Friday sales taking root in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Customers seek out Black Friday bargains at the Aeon Style store in Shojonawate, Osaka Prefecture.

Black Friday sales are becoming increasingly popular in Japan. As more and more companies become involved in the U.S.-inspired year-end shopping trend, some retailers are even expected to extend their limited-time sales into the early part of this week.

For its part, major supermarket operator Aeon Co. rolled out 1,400 items — about 10% more than last year — in its Black Friday sales campaign that ended Sunday. As prices remain high across the nation, the company appealed to consumers by halving the price of some suits and other items.

Ito-Yokado Co., meanwhile, increased the number of products included in its Black Friday promotion by about 50%, year-on-year, offering large-volume “black”-tagged foods and other products at a flat rate of ¥96.

Among convenience stores, FamilyMart Co. has been running a pun-based campaign based on the “ fry” of Black Friday, offering free vouchers for fried food if customers purchase two items from the hot food sections usually found next to the store cash registers.

Akachan Honpo Co., has dubbed its sale “Red Friday,” since the kanji character for “aka” means “red.” The firm has included around 300 items in its campaign, including baby strollers.

With interest in Black Friday promotions increasing annually, there are high expectations of a boost in the market, the company said.