A Seiyu outlet in Akabane, part of Wal-Mart Stores.
Not long ago, many Japanese bought so many $100 melons and $1,000 handbags that this was the only country in the world where luxury products were considered mass market. Even through the economic stagnation of Japan’s so-called lost decade, which began in the early 1990s, Japanese consumers sustained that reputation. But this recession has done something that earlier declines could not: turned the Japanese into Wal-Mart shoppers.
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