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Consumers with cash splurging more on luxury goods

JIJI

Sales of high-end watches, jewelry and other luxury goods are on the rise at department stores as sentiment among wealthy people picks up thanks to rising stock prices backed by the aggressive economic policy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In addition, consumers in general are increasingly in the mood to spend more in the summer bonus season.

According to the Japan Department Stores Association, sales of luxury goods grew 14.3 percent year on year in January-May, with May alone seeing a 22.8 percent increase.

“Sales remained robust in June,” said an official at a major department store operator.

Amid the enthusiasm, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. began a special display Wednesday of high-end watches by Swiss brand Franck Muller at its flagship Mitsukoshi department store in central Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district.

On sale are some 50 watches priced at more than ¥10 million each, including four with a price tag of more than ¥100 million.

The company also hopes to win new customers and lure back repeat buyers by offering watches in the relatively low price range of ¥500,000 to ¥1 million.

Takashimaya Co. saw sales of leather bags made by French luxury brand Goyard jump 40 percent from a year before in the first six months of this year. The bags are priced at about ¥150,000 on average.