"Kumamon" Goods Sales Remain Strong despite Epidemic
Kumamoto, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)--The government of Kumamoto Prefecture said Tuesday that sales of products featuring Kumamon, the southwestern Japan prefecture's official black bear mascot, rose for the ninth straight year in 2020, in defiance of the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Sales surged 7.6 pct from the preceding year to 169,879 million yen, with those of food products buoyed by demand from people staying home amid the virus crisis. Sales abroad dropped 1.0 pct to 6,459 million yen.
Cumulative sales of Kumamon goods since 2011 stood at 989.1 billion yen.
Last year, sales of stuffed Kumamon and stationery featuring the character declined both at home and abroad, but face masks and other sanitary goods using the mascot, in addition to food products, fared well.
"I'm glad to see the 2020 sales exceed the previous year's result despite the coronavirus crisis," Kumamoto Governor Ikuo Kabashima told a press conference on Tuesday. "I hope that Kumamon will become more active internationally (after the pandemic dies down)," he added.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]