A Bargain Basement Called Japan

Shiro Kajikawa sounds a bit like a kid in a candy store. Second-in-command at Domy Co., a discounter based in Nagoya with sales of $270 million, Kajikawa has just returned from an eight-day buying spree in California, where he dropped in at the stores of Oakland-based Safeway Inc. Domy already imports Safeway cola, jam, canned corn, and fruit cocktail, and Kajikawa has come back from this trip with such new candidates as lemon-lime soda, cookies, and bottled water. "Everything is cheap in America," he marvels. With Safeway's cola selling in Japan for only 47 cents a can, Domy can undercut the price of local beverages by 55%.

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