Bargain import buyers like yen rise

OSAKA (Kyodo) The yen’s recent spike against the dollar has dealt a heavy blow to exporters, but the trend has provided perfect shopping incentives for women going after imported fashion-brand items.

An annual special bargain began Wednesday morning at the Hanshin department store in Kita Ward, Osaka, with thousands of bags, jewelry items and accessories from top foreign fashion houses being offered at a 15 to 20 percent discount, store officials said.

As soon as the store opened at 10 a.m., hundreds of bargain-hunters dashed straight to the event floor. The bargain runs through Tuesday.

The discount items, offered by 50 pawnshops from across the nation, are either second-handed or placed in hock. Due to the recent appreciation of the yen against the dollar and euro, the market prices of these items are on the decline, according to pawnbrokers.

A renowned hand-made bag, the Birkin 30 from Hermes, usually sells for no less than ¥1 million but carried a ¥980,000 price tag at the event.