Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Colour me hopeful

February 12, 2009

The world’s No.2 economy, mired in what may be its longest and ugliest recession, is not wearing its misfortunes on its sleeve — at least not literally.

Yutaka Sato, a spokesman for Millennium Retailing, which runs the Seibu and Sogo department chains, said Japanese consumers are going green in more ways than one.


“With this year’s spring season offerings, bright colour items are popular, such as yellow and green,” he told me this week.

“We had been seeing a strong trend for black and grey, as it’s been said that during economic hardship people choose dark colours. But this year people are buying bright colour items… we’re seeing strong sales of green spring coats.”

The Japanese, known for jumping on the latest trends, spend billions on themselves in good times and bad, but retailers saw a 10 percent sales slide in January. Some firms like Takashimaya are trying to frontload winter stock and perhaps nothing would say “Spring has come” more than bright colours.

PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

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