Consumers

Gurunavi, Michelin to launch gourmet website in Japan

TOKYO -- Michelin is teaming up with Gurunavi to create a new website dedicated to Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan. Nihon Michelin Tire and the Japanese operator of online restaurant guides plan to launch the site next April. The site will ...

  • Japan's department stores brace for duty-free surge

    TOKYO -- Results of the latest annual Nikkei Marketing Journal department-store survey show sales were up 2.7% year-on-year in fiscal 2013. This marks the second consecutive year of growth. Rising business confidence combined with a demand bump a...

  • Disney attracts adults worldwide with Japan-made hits

    TOKYO -- U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney is spreading its Japanese hit projects around the world, launching the Disney Tsum Tsum stackable soft toys in North America and distributing a smartphone puzzle app featuring the toys worldwide. The ...

  • Japanese eatery Ootoya to accelerate overseas expansion

    TOKYO -- Ootoya Holdings, the Tokyo-based operator of the Ootoya restaurant chain, is ramping up its overseas expansion drive. The company will in November open its first restaurant in Vietnam -- an outlet serving set meals in Ho Chi Minh City --...

  • Japan's Aeon hopes customers get Pakistan mango munchies

    TOKYO -- Japan's top supermarket operator, Aeon, will soon become the country's first major retailer to sell mangoes grown in Pakistan. The fruit from Pakistan has a higher sugar content than the Thai varieties that dominate the Japanese ma...

  • New Daihatsu compact coming to Malaysia

    OSAKA -- Daihatsu Motor will introduce a highly fuel-efficient new compact in Malaysia as early as next month. Malaysian automaker Perodua, in which Daihatsu owns a 41% stake, will release the Axia, a vehicle based on the Ayla low-price compact t...

  • Sony hopes to lasso gamers with streaming PlayStation Now service

    TOKYO -- Sony Computer Entertainment is hoping to revolutionize the gaming industry by going consoleless. The game unit of Japan's Sony group introduced PlayStation Now in North America at the end of July. It plans to bring the cloud-based game-s...

  • Battle for Myanmar's mobile market just getting started

    YANGON -- Qatar's Ooredoo has become the first major foreign mobile carrier to start services in Myanmar's nascent market. Ooredoo began from this month offering cellphone plans at lower rates than Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), whic...

  • Aeon to set up nursery schools at malls, supermarkets across Japan

    TOKYO -- Japanese retail giant Aeon plans to open day care facilities inside its nationwide network of shopping centers and general merchandise supermarkets for its employees and other parents. It aims to establish a model nursery school at one o...

  • Chinese mall operator to lure shoppers with theme parks

    DALIAN, China -- Commercial real estate developer Dalian Wanda Group plans to open theme parks aimed at children, looking to cultivate China's 220-million-strong juvenile market while drawing shoppers to its malls. The parks, to be called Wanda K...

  • Uny to purge Chinese-made food from private brand

    TOKYO -- Retailer Uny Group Holdings on Tuesday clarified plans to stop offering Chinese-made food under its private brand due to growing consumer anxiety over safety. Starting February 2015, the company will begin outsourcing 26 products, includ...

  • Yoshinoya to set up tavern space at more Tokyo beef bowl outlets

    TOKYO -- Customers of Yoshinoya Holdings' beef bowl restaurants will be able to sip beer and other alcoholic drinks at more locations after sales soared at test sites in Tokyo. The company currently serves draft beer and other alcoholic beverages...

  • Japanese department stores pulling in more foreigners: poll

    TOKYO -- About 40% of Japanese department stores drew more foreign customers and rang up more duty-free sales in fiscal 2013 on an influx of tourists from China and Southeast Asia. The Nikkei conducted a survey targeting 89 department store opera...

  • Japan's Gyu-Kaku barbecue chain to set up franchises in Taiwan

    TOKYO -- Colowide will expand its Gyu-Kaku chain of barbecue restaurants in Taiwan by franchising branches with a local partner. The Japanese restaurant operator has reached an agreement with Wu-Hu Group to introduce franchises in the southern re...

  • Classy cafes catch on in Cambodia

    PHNOM PENH -- More and more barista-brewed coffee is being served in Phnom Penh. Domestic player Brown Coffee and Bakery is steadily gaining support among young consumers, while foreign players are increasingly opening stores in the country to meet t...

  • Jewelry prices on the rise in Japan as precious metals surge

    TOKYO -- Japanese jewelry retailers are raising prices on rings and necklaces featuring diamonds and precious metals as they seek to better cope with rising materials costs amid tensions in the Middle East. Demand for jewelry has remained robust ...

  • Japan's Aeon to double stores that offer duty-free shopping

    TOKYO -- Japanese retail chain Aeon plans to double the number of stores that accept duty-free purchases by October, when new regulations will kick in expanding the list of goods foreigners can buy without paying the consumption tax. Aeon current...

  • Haier Asia adding smartphones to lineup

    OSAKA -- Haier Asia International, the Osaka-based subsidiary of Chinese consumer appliance giant Haier, plans to sell smartphones and other portable digital gadgets in Southeast Asia and possibly also Japan starting as early as this year. Chief ...

  • Harley-Davidson to launch 750cc bike for young urbanites

    TOKYO -- U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is set to introduce a new model in Japan at the end of this year with a 750cc engine aimed at young urban riders, as its core customers gradually put away their biker boots. For years, the venerable ...

  • SKorea's YG Entertainment aims big overseas

    SEOUL -- The South Korean record label and talent agency YG Entertainment is looking to go global. Granted, it already makes half of its earnings outside of South Korea, but its new growth strategy plans to take this to the next level. The key to...