Greater Yen for Japan's Department Stores

Upscale retailers are prospering again due to higher per-customer consumption, a resurgent economy, and store restructuring

The urge to splurge is finally back in Japan. While on a shopping excursion at the Daimaru department store near Tokyo Station in mid-May, Tokiko Matsui, 42, a housewife from West Tokyo, was in full consumption mode. And with good reason: Her husband's salary and benefits have risen by 20% in the last year, which means she feels more comfortable about shopping at high-end outfits such as Daimaru.

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