AEON to set up tax-free counter

Manabu Boike, president of AEON Ryukyu, said Thursday that his company plans to set up a tax-free service counter at AEON Chatan store this October. According to the plan, all AEON stores on Okinawa would get similar counters by spring 2015.

Until now, tax-free purchases of goods by overseas customers have been limited to electric appliances and clothes, but the objective is to expand the list of goods starting October to everyday goods like groceries and cosmetics. After the new service starts, the current service giving out discount coupons to overseas visitors to cover the consumption tax portion will be discontinued.

According to AEON Ryukyu, AEON Chatan is the most popular AEON store in Okinawa among overseas customers. Targeting them, AEON plans to enhance its selection of merchandise to feature goods popular as souvenirs, and add Chinese and Korean translation on labels.

According to AEON spokesman, the sales between April and August in AEON Chatan increased by double digits mostly thanks to foreign customers.