Tax Hike Rebate Program Sends Major Retailers into Price Wars

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--Major Japanese retailers are taking measures to effectively cut prices, concerned about a rebate program for small businesses that the government will launch to ease the impact of a consumption tax hike next month.

The program, to be in place for nine months until the end of June 2020, will provide shoppers with points worth up to 5 pct of cashless payments at small retailers and restaurants. Placed outside the program, major retailers are eager to offset the disadvantage.

Among major supermarket chains, Seiyu G.K., owned by U.S. retail giant Walmart Inc., will grant 3 pct discounts for payments by credit cards issued by Credit Saison Co. <8253> from October to the end of December. The discount campaign comes even after Seiyu cut prices for 600 products in August. "We found it necessary to take an additional measure," a Seiyu public relations official said.

Aeon Co. <8267> and Ito-Yokado Co., the main supermarket unit of Seven & i Holdings Co. <3382>, are both considering holding a discount sale after the consumption tax rate is raised from the current 8 pct to 10 pct on Oct. 1.

Major discount store chain Don Quijote Co., owned by Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp. <7532>, will also take relevant measures, a senior official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press