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Discount barber QB House hikes prices over Japan labor woes

10-minute cut will cost $1 more starting next February

QB House has been working to attract more female customers. (Photo by Yuichiro Takagi)

TOKYO -- QB House, the barbershop chain that disrupted the Japanese market with 10-minute haircuts for 1,000 yen ($9), will increase prices in 2019 to retain talent in a personnel shortage.

The standard price will rise to 1,200 yen on Feb. 1 from the current 1,080 yen, parent company QB Net Holdings announced on Monday.

The move will help pay for improving conditions for barbers already on the payroll, said the Tokyo-based company, which hopes to cut employee turnover to less than 5% within a few years.

It will consider other steps to retain staffers, including changes to working hours. The chain hired more than 400 people in fiscal 2017, including rehires.

QB House has slowed the pace of opening new locations in Japan compared with a decade ago.

This is just the latest example of Japanese companies passing on rising costs to customers. Restaurant operators like Matsuya Foods and Hiday Hidaka have raised prices on some menu items, citing costlier ingredients and growing labor expenses.

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