Consumers call for boycott of Japanese brands in Taiwan

21-May-2013

Sales of products from Japanese brands have fallen as vendors refuse to adjust their prices to reflect the weakened yen

Sales of Japanese cosmetics in Taiwan have fallen as vendors refuse to lower their prices to reflect the weakened yen, according to Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, a leading department store.

The department store chain, which sees 100 million visits each year, said sales of Japanese make-up products in its 13 stores have suffered declines ranging from single digit to double digit percentages. Despite this, total revenue from cosmetics has not been affected, according to a Mitsukoshi spokesperson, as customers appear to have switched to western brands.

Despite the significant depreciation of the yen, however, few Taiwanese vendors selling Japanese goods have adjusted their prices, which led to a call by Japan’s central bank for the prices to be reduced around 15% in line with the yen’s depreciation over the past five months.

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The Consumers’ Foundation in Taiwan, an NGO, has called for customers to support the boycott by exerting pressure on importers. “Customers have to rely on themselves for the creation of a reasonable shopping environment, as there is not much the government can do to influence the business strategies of the private sector,” said the Foundation.