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Japanese consumers divided between thrift and extravagance

Consumer spending in Japan has been sluggish for the past two years. However, products that have unique designs or performance and give consumers a sense of joy sell well despite their high prices.


"FIVE black beans, please," a customer says at the deli counter in the Odakyu department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, where the number of customers ordering minute amounts of prepared foods such as simmered beans or pumpkin is increasing.

"That will be 93 yen (S$1.26)," the...

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