Tobu Department Store launches campaign ahead of Japan’s new consumption-tax hike

Japanese department stores are starting campaigns to educate tourists that they will not be affected by the increase in the country’s consumption tax which takes effect at the end of the month. 

From October 1, the tax will increase from 8 per cent to 10 per cent on all goods, with the exception of some food items. 

Tobu Department Store located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, is preparing to launch a promotional campaign aimed at visitors from abroad and celebrating the upcoming Chinese National Day holiday next month, and Taiwan’s Double Tenth Day.

From October 1 to 23, a wide range of goods will go on sale including limited-edition product sets launched by cosmetic brands including SK-II, Attenir and Haba; Club Harie limited-edition matcha desserts made from tea leaves picked in early summer; and Swatch items exclusively available in Tokyo incorporating the Rainbow Bridge as a design element. 

During the campaign, the store will make available a brochure with detailed information about the special offers and reassuring visitors about their exclusion from the consumption-tax increase. 

Shoppers can get discounts upon showing the brochure. In addition, some outlets will hand out gifts to shoppers who spend a certain amount on their purchases, while a 5 per cent discount will be given to those who pay with UnionPay cards. Foreign visitors can also enjoy an excise tax exemption by filling out the relevant forms.


Prior to the campaign, preparations for welcoming foreign visitors, including the expansion of duty-free counters and the establishment of more tourist information desks, started on August 29.

Following the implementation of the tax-free policy for foreign visitors, all stores are updating their procedures to be in compliance. The Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro, has become a preferred shopping destination among foreign tourists, most notably, for not charging a fee for assisting the shopper with the tax exemption paperwork.

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