Consumers

Starbucks opens first branch in Hanoi

HANOI -- Starbucks opened its first store in Hanoi on Wednesday. With plans to open two more here this month, the U.S. chain is stepping up its presence in the Vietnamese market. The first Starbucks in the country's capital is located in a hotel ...

  • Indonesia's 2 big convenience store chains adding more links

    JAKARTA -- Indonesia's convenience store market is dominated by two chains: Indomaret and Alfamart. Both are adding stores. They are also ramping up efforts to bring in more customers, encourage them to linger longer, and keep them coming back. ...

  • Japan's top convenience stores dominate like never before

    TOKYO -- The five biggest convenience store operators in Japan claimed more than 90% of the market by sales for the first time in fiscal 2013. Sales for all Japanese convenience store locations totaled 9.81 trillion yen ($95.7 billion) for fiscal...

  • Starbucks gives caffeine jolt to plans for new stores in Japan

    TOKYO -- Starbucks Coffee Japan plans to open new outlets at an accelerated pace while shifting its focus from urban centers to suburban areas. Over the next three years, the company will spend roughly 15 billion yen ($146 million) to open 260 ne...

  • Nestle Japan quitting industry groups over instant-coffee labeling

    TOKYO -- Nestle Japan will leave a national organization of coffee producers in late August now that the group has decided the company used misleading and inappropriate labeling on a new product. Nestle Japan released last fall a line of instant ...

  • McDonald's Japan, FamilyMart stop sales of Shanghai firm's chicken

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- McDonald's Co. (Japan) and Japanese convenience store operator FamilyMart Co. said Tuesday they have stopped sales of chicken products imported from a Shanghai supplier following reports the company had sold outdated chicken meat. ...

  • Aioi Nissay Dowa to provide pet insurance in Japan

    TOKYO -- Japan's Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance will start providing coverage for the medical bills of pets in October, aiming to tap into demand from owners increasingly concerned about their animal companions' health. Aioi will offer a plan develop...

  • Deep-bass TVs cater to dance, music-loving Indonesians

    JAKARTA -- In Indonesia, TVs with deep-bass speakers are a popular home electronics product among local consumers who are fond of dancing and listening to loud, reverberating music. For Indonesians who prefer a showy and imposing atmosphere, the ...

  • BMW's push in South Korea includes first Asian test-drive center

    SEOUL -- German luxury car manufacturer BMW is accelerating its marketing drive in South Korea to take advantage of a higher Korean won and lower import tariffs from free trade agreement. In early August, BMW will open its third Driving Center --...

  • Supply cut, pricing change lifts Japan gasoline prices

    TOKYO -- Gasoline prices are rising in Japan as oil distributors shut down facilities and cut production to increase their profit margins and insulate themselves against a possible price decline ahead of peak summer demand. Higher crude oil prices, t...

  • Sony sows tech far and wide to replace card swipes with a wave

    TOKYO -- Sony is aggressively expanding the possibilities for its FeliCa contactless communications protocol, already the standard in Japan for e-money smart cards. Sony subsidiary FeliCa Networks revealed Thursday plans for a new chip for wearab...

  • Asus topples Apple as top tablet shipper in Japan

    TOKYO -- Taiwan's Asus sold more tablets in Japan than Apple in the January-June period, its first time in the top spot for the half, according to figures released Thursday by market research company BCN. Asus' market share for tablets rose 8 per...

  • 'Frozen' is hot as DVDs hit shelves in Japan

    TOKYO -- Disney blockbuster "Frozen" went on sale as a DVD/Blu-ray set in Japan on Wednesday, selling some 660,000 copies that day alone. The package also includes exclusive digital content and is priced at 4,320 yen ($42.05). Retailers have ...

  • Japan lags behind South Korea, Singapore in smartphone use

    TOKYO -- Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released Tuesday by the Ministry of Communications. In Japan, large service providers such as NTT Docomo collaborated with phone makers to develop an array of ...

  • Next year's Tokyo Motor Show moved up 3 weeks

    TOKYO -- The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show will be held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 8, three weeks earlier than usual to avoid an overlap with other international auto shows. Chairman Fumihiko Ike of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association made the annou...

  • Huge turnout at highly anticipated 'Harry Potter' park opening

    OSAKA -- Universal Studios Japan opened its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter section Tuesday, drawing massive first-day traffic. About 3,000 guests waited in line before the park even opened, including 200 fans who had camped out overnight. By...

  • PepsiCo ramping up Myanmar operations

    YANGON -- PepsiCo has started producing drinks in Myanmar through a local bottler, another step in efforts to catch up with Coca-Cola in a fast-growing market. A plant in Yangon owned by local manufacturer Myanma Golden Star was modified to produ...

  • 'Harry Potter' seen lifting Japanese summer travel demand

    OSAKA -- Japanese theme park operators are pouring funds into what they hope will become new crowd pleasers, notably an interactive "Harry Potter" section that Universal Studios Japan is opening here Tuesday. For park operator USJ, the 45 billion...

  • Taiwan's top restaurant chain looks overseas for further growth

    TAIPEI -- Wowprime Group, Taiwan's largest restaurant chain and its most desirable employer for young workers, has grown due to diversification. Now it has set it sights on the world. The group, operator of restaurant brands including high-end st...

  • Universal Studios Japan aims to cast spell on Asian visitors

    OSAKA -- USJ, which operates the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka, is stepping up its Asian promotions as it gears up to open a new attraction Tuesday based on the Harry Potter movie franchise. In Taiwan, the company is running televis...