Shops roll out fukubukuro ‘lucky bags’ ahead of New Year holiday

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A shop clerk stacks fukubukuro lucky bags on a shelf at an Aeon mall in Itabashi Ward, Tokyo.

Supermarkets and department stores have started stacking shelves with fukubukuro “lucky bags” ahead of the New Year holiday period, when shops traditionally hold sales that attract hordes of customers.

In a year when surging prices have hit household budgets, retailers have rolled out their sales deals early, in an apparent effort to attract bargain hunters.

Aeon Retail Co. started selling bags and boxes filled with bargains at about 360 outlets on Monday.

According to the company, most of its outlets removed Christmas decorations after business hours on Sunday and started setting up special corners for lucky bags on Monday morning.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, hordes of shoppers used to descend on department stores over the New Year holiday period, but many shops now offer online reservations for lucky bags to prevent overcrowding.

Matsuya Ginza in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, is another retailer that has got a head start on fukubukuro sales, with shoppers able to buy bargain bags containing women’s accessories and other items ahead of the New Year.