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Winter has arrived, retailers happy for right timing

Date Posted: 2003-12-18

As the day temperature dipped to 15.6 degrees centigrade on Saturday, the Okinawa Meteorological Agency declared that the winter season had officially arrived. And as it happens, civil servants, teachers and employees of big companies and banks got their year-end bonuses on Dec. 10.

The timing could not have been better from the viewpoint of department stores and other retail outlets that had just stocked their shelves with winter merchandise. “Had the warm weather continued, the sales would have flopped as happened last year,” a manager at San-A store said.
The year-end is traditionally the most important sale season for retailers who rely on year-end gift giving, or “oseibo,” for much of their annual profits.

On average, people spend Y30,000 to Y45,000 on oseibo, and every supermarket and department store thrives to make as attractive gift packages as possible in order to lure customers. Sales were also brisk at the newest Toys-R-Us store that opened on the second floor of Appletown shopping complex in Omoromachi, Naha City, on Dec. 4. “We have been very busy every single day since we opened, and we expect the season to be better that we actually expected,” a manager of the store said.

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