Early-bird sale at Tokyo department store attracts 20,000 shoppers

Kyodo

Some 20,000 people lined up for New Year sales at a Seibu department store in central Tokyo on Tuesday as the retailer started business for 2013 a day earlier than other major department store operators.

Sogo & Seibu Co. opened its flagship store in Ikebukuro half an hour early at 9:30 a.m. due to the long line of shoppers.

At the Ikebukuro store, the retailer said it had prepared about 150,000 “lucky bags” filled with discount goods and other New Year bargains. It is the first time the operator of 14 Seibu and nine Sogo department stores has opened its shops on New Year’s Day.

Department stores of most other operators such as Takashimaya Co. and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. will be open from Wednesday.