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Business trends

Japan's used clothing stores a perfect fit for other Asian markets

As domestic sales shrink, companies pin hopes on region's growing middle class

Komehyo's Shinjuku store in Tokyo attracts tourists from many other Asian countries. The retailer of used luxury brands expects to open a branch in Beijing later this year. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

TOKYO -- Secondhand clothing and accessory stores in Japan are looking to expand into Southeast Asia and China, where demand for used goods is rising and where Japanese expertise in the sector is wanted.

The companies plan to sell pre-owned Japanese apparel as well as domestically sourced items, the market for which is growing, driven by the rise of the region's middle-income bracket. In China, where demand for used designer brands is especially strong, the companies hope to leverage their know-how in screening out fake items to drive sales.

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