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Mieko Watanabe wanted to buy a soft white dress to wear around the house, but the ¥6,000 price tag at apparel shops put off the 23-year-old office worker. Then she saw what she wanted at a Uniqlo outlet for less than ¥3,000.

“I didn’t want to pay ¥6,000 for something to wear at home. But ¥3,000 was not out of my price range,” Watanabe said. “Since it fits me, I’ll buy another in a different color.”

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