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Lawson to hike pay to boost consumption

Kyodo

Lawson Inc. said Thursday it will raise the annual earnings of its workers aged in their late 20s to 40s by 3 percent on average from fiscal 2013 in a bid to stimulate consumption.

The convenience store chain’s move, which covers about 3,300 employees at the parent firm and two subsidiaries, aims to tap into the higher tendencies of people to spend more in the prime of their lives.

The measure comes in response to calls by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government for businesses to raise wages for employees to stimulate domestic demand and beat deflation. It is hoped that an increase in annual pay will also be a countermeasure to the declining birthrate, according to Lawson.

Lawson said the raise will be paid in the form of bonuses twice a year, while workers with children up to junior high school age will be paid more based on the number of children in that age bracket.

On average, employees’ annual earnings will go up around ¥150,000, while those with three children would receive roughly ¥300,000 more. The annual salary of Lawson staff in other age brackets will remain the same.

Lawson President Takeshi Niinami is on the Industrial Competitiveness Council, which was set up by the government to examine the country’s industrial growth strategies.