Government, Keidanren plan ‘Premium Friday’ campaign to boost consumption

JIJI

The government and the Keidanren business lobby plan to launch a “Premium Friday” campaign to perk up sluggish domestic consumption, according to informed sources.

The campaign will call on people to finish work early on the last Friday of each month to shop, dine out and take part in other evening activities, the sources said.

The campaign will be conducted first on a trial basis in central Tokyo, including the Nihonbashi and Marunouchi business districts, next Feb. 24, the final Friday of the month, and then be introduced in stages across the country starting in April.

Details of the campaign are expected to be announced next month.

Companies, including department store operator Takashimaya Co. and realtors Mitsui Fudosan Co. and Mitsubishi Estate Co. have expressed interest in the planned campaign, the sources said.

Whether the Premium Friday campaign will produce the intended effects is uncertain, however, given that the chronically sluggish consumption is partly attributed to anxiety about the future.