Black Friday in Japan featuring the highest number of products in retail history

“Black Friday retail battles are intensifying among various companies. Aeon has increased its product offerings by 40% compared to last year, while Ito-Yokado has expanded its selection by 50%, resulting in the highest number of products for both companies in their history.

The ongoing rise in product prices has contributed to a frugal mindset, further fueling the excitement of Black Friday in Japan.

The annual all-you-can-pack service into bags has been offered, and customers flocked to items such as oranges (¥540), potatoes (¥324), and onions (¥324) that were included in the promotion.

Starting from the 17th, Aeon has kicked off a 10-day Black Friday event, offering approximately 1,960 items, including fresh produce and daily necessities. This represents a 40% increase compared to the previous year, marking the highest number of items to date. The products are being sold at discounts of up to 50% compared to regular prices. Vegetables for hot pot, such as shimeji and white leeks, are being sold at a uniform price of ¥105. The participating stores have increased by 30% to a total of 635 stores.

Ito-Yokado is also running a 12-day event from the 15th. They have expanded their selection to 230 items, a 50% increase from the previous year, matching Aeon’s record for the highest number of items. They are promoting a sales campaign called the “96 (Black) Price Plan,” offering items at ¥96 and ¥996 before tax. The focus is on selling large-sized products like sausages, aiming to tap into the trend of frugal consumption.

On the other hand, there is a noticeable trend where consumers are willing to make purchases even if the selling price is high, as long as there is a sense of value. General merchandise stores (GMS) and department stores are expanding their product lineups to accommodate this trend.

Aeon is set to start selling “Grade 5” Japanese beef (¥861 per 100 grams) from the 23rd. In a reservation sales event held by the company until the 12th, limited quantities of items such as a pure gold Buddhist statue (¥6.57 million), hair crab (¥18,000), and fountain pens (¥43,780) were accepted. The sales from this event exceeded the planned target by 5%.

According to Teikoku Databank, the number of items with price increases in the food and daily necessities category exceeded 30,000 in the period from January to October, surpassing the previous year at a significant pace. Due to the high prices, real wages have been negative for 18 consecutive months until September. Ito, the Head of Sales Planning Department at Aeon Retail, mentioned, “It seems that consumer purchasing behavior with a focus on essentials will continue into the next year.”