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Business trends

China's 'daigou' shock hits luxury goods sales in Japan

Beijing's crackdown on private importers has bulk buyers cutting back

Chinese tourists visiting Japan for the Lunar New Year holiday buy rice cookers at a duty-free shop in Akihabara. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- China's crackdown on private imports of luxury goods is hitting retailers and high-end brands in Japan, which are already grappling with a weakening Chinese economy.

Duty-free sales at Japanese department stores in January fell 7.7% from a year earlier, the first drop in more than two years, according to recent data released by the Japan Department Stores Association. Average spending per shopper fell 8.4% to 63,000 yen ($567). An official at one store in Ginza, Tokyo's popular shopping district, said sales of luxury bags and clothing were particularly weak.

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