Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

from Raw Japan:

Retailers do the limbo

JAPAN-ECONOMY/For some of Japan's retailers trying to jumpstart consumer spending, setting prices is like doing the limbo: How low can they go?

Japanese retailers reported mostly dismal first-half earnings results, with the industry stuck in a slump as shoppers remain reluctant to open their wallets even as the economy emerges from recession.

With no sales pick-up in sight, stores seem to have no choice but to continue their race to undercut rivals, with prices dropping for everything from cars to clothes to milk.

On the surface it sounds like a shopper's paradise: Who wouldn't mind paying less than 1,000 yen ($11) for a pair of jeans?

Check Out Line: Quarterly loss and job cuts at Talbots

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talbots1Check out the quarterly loss and job cuts at women’s apparel retailer Talbots.

Talbots, whose clientele consists mainly of women above 35 years old, reported a first-quarter loss of 23 cents a share, less than half the 49-cent loss analysts had expected.

Check Out Line: Talbots’ makeover includes board

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talbots3.jpgCheck out the majority owner of Talbots exerting more control.

The women’s apparel retailer, which has endured hardships in recent months including falling sales, job cuts, an executive departure and a credit problem, said on Thursday that Tsutomu Kajita would become chairman of its board.

Kajita is senior vice president of international operations for Japan’s Aeon Co, Talbots’ majority owner.

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