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TVs and $1,000 down coats: What Japan is buying ahead of tax hike

Stores front-load discounts to cash in on last-minute purchases

Some electronics stores report a 250% increase in OLED television sales in August. (Photo by Hisashi Iwato)

TOKYO -- Japanese consumers are rushing to buy expensive appliances, clothing and jewelry before the country's consumption tax increase on Oct. 1, retailers say, and the trend portends a drop-off in spending afterward.

At big-box electronics store chain Bic Camera, refrigerator sales climbed about 30% on the year in August.

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