Retailer Aeon Co. said Wednesday it will hold the price of “third-category” beer steady despite an increase in taxes on the product that will take effect Monday.

Discount chain Don Quijote Co. also said it will maintain its prices on the brew for the time being, which may prompt other major retailers to follow suit, according to industry observers.

Convenience store chain Lawson Inc., by contrast, said the same day it plans a 4 yen markup after the tax increase.

The government will raise taxes on third-category beer by 3.8 yen per 350 milliliter.

The tax increase is likely to affect both brewers and retailers of the third-category beer, whose cheaper price compared with regular and low-malt beer has boosted sales. The other categories of beer are taxed at higher rates.

Aeon will continue to sell the third-category brew for 110 yen per 350 ml can, making up for the loss by cutting transport and other distribution costs. It also said it will lower prices for regular beer.

Industry analysts are waiting to see how retailers react to the tax hike after major brewers said earlier they will raise prices by 3.75 yen to 4 yen per 350 ml.

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