China drives Osaka duty free boom

Osaka department stores are reporting three times the usual duty free sales to foreigners over Lunar New Year.

Chinese shoppers may be curtailing spending at home, but they’re still splurging when they travel – as they are doing in increasing numbers within Asia.

An executive from the Osaka Takashimaya department stores said duty-free sales in the week to Tuesday, when Lunar New Year ended, were 3.5 times the rate of last year.

More and more Chinese took their holidays in Osaka this year due to a boost in the number of flights by budget carriers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The most popular items purchased were Hello Kitty merchandise, especially stationery, Japanese whisky and confectionery.


At the Kintetsu Department Store Co’s flagship in Abeno Hurakas, Japan’s tallest building, duty-free sales quintupled. There, cosmetics were the most popular category.

Other department stores reported sales increases of four to four point five times.

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