Jan 23, 2015

70% of visitors satisfied with Japan's credit card services

A survey of tourists’ views on credit card services in Japan has found that 72 percent are satisfied, an industry survey says. However, one in three respondents found that not all stores accepted credit cards, and half of those said they did not buy ...

Staying up all night to get lucky (bags)

Jan 6, 2015

Staying up all night to get lucky (bags)

New Year's in Japan means fukubukuro (literally, "lucky bags"). In a tradition kickstarted by the Matsuya Department Store almost 100 years ago, retail outlets offer mystery grab bags to the shoppers who are willing to buy blindly in hopes of scoring a bargain.

Dec 18, 2014

Cuba detente a smokin' deal? Close, but no cigar

American cigar smokers anxiously flicked their lacquered lighters this morning when news broke that President Barack Obama would be easing the decades-old restrictions on Cuban travel and goods. Since 1962, Cuba’s legendary cigars have been banned from the shelves of American tobacconists and many ...

Nov 29, 2014

Post-Thanksgiving shopping chaos spreads to Britain

Americans celebrating Thanksgiving in Britain may have felt right at home as Black Friday shopping chaos caused disruptions. The practice of offering bargain prices the day after Thanksgiving has spread across the Atlantic, with some retailers opening overnight to lure shoppers. Police were called ...

Sep 24, 2014

Retailers gear up for expanded duty-free program

Retailers across Japan are preparing to welcome foreign tourists when all goods, including consumable ones such as cosmetics and food, become duty free next month. They are moving to increase the number of duty-free counters in the hopes that the expanded coverage will bring ...