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Stores, supermarkets offer year-end gift sets

Date Posted: 2009-12-03

With only weeks to go before the end of the year, department stores and supermarkets are setting the stage for sales battles on end-of-year presents known as ‘oseibo’.

Stores are each trying to anticipate what will appeal most to shoppers, with some taking aim with lower price lines, while others are going upscale with special tastes. Some department stores are offering higher grade gift sets, while others are keying in on daily necessities as gift items. Still others are lowering prices on computers or children’s games and toys to attract attention.

Gift sets are averaging under ¥4,000 this year, with those in the ¥2,000-3,000 range being most popular. Until last year, the more expensive gift shops were the best sellers, but retailers say that’s not happening any more. Supermarkets are turning to their own brand special items, and some department stores are following suit.

Foods are becoming more popular this gift-giving season. With the economy in disarray, more people are staying at home to eat instead of dining out, and stores are jumping on the bandwagon to offer food platters and packages. Many stores are also offering merchandise with imperfections at heavily discounted prices such as fish dinners that are not containing uniform size fish—one bigger and another smaller—and the same applying to vegetable gift packs.

Merchandisers are turning to discounts to attract attention, and offering store coupons. Each store thinks it has the ideal plan, which will lure customers in not only today, but another time as well, hoping for more discount bargains.


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