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You wouldn’t necessarily think it now that foot traffic is on the rise in Tokyo’s retail hubs in the countdown to the festive season, but consumers don’t appear to be all that keen to open their wallets right now. While many fashion retailers were forced to focus on survival this time last year, they’re now looking to make some gains from the long-promised “bounce back” that market analysts have been predicting.

However, flat sales on the back of rising commodity prices are making it hard for department stores to offload the luxury items they typically thrive on, especially with hordes of foreign tourists still locked out of the country.

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