Forget Black Friday or Cyber Monday, New Year in Japan is the time of choice for retailers and shoppers alike — since this means Fukubukuro.
Literally translating as “lucky bag”, fukubukuro gives stores a chance to make room for incoming stock and drum up some publicity by selling off inventory at a massively discounted rate. The catch? That customers hand over their money for a grab bag they have no idea of the contents of.
Apple began selling its fukubukuro early in the morning. Being Apple, these weren’t simple bags of course, but fairly stylish backpacks, which came stocked with Apple products.
One customer — Mr. Sato — arrived at Apple’s Shibuya store one day early, grabbed his ticket, and then waited for the store to open.
Last year, the Shibuya same store gave away eight Macbook Airs, iPads, iPads and other devices/accessories in bags costing 33,000 yen (US$313).
Bags for the 2014 fukubukuro season were 3,000 yen more expensive — suggesting that Apple might be even more generous than on previous occasions.
In the end, Mr. Sato walked away with an 11-inch 128GB Macbook Air, a Magic Mouse, a pair of JayBird BlueBuds X wireless earphones, a Morphie juice pack powerstation mini portable battery, a Twelve South PlugBug World travel plug adaptor, a Beats by Dre Pill Speaker Gold Edition, a Power Support Air Jacket sleeve for the Macbook Air, and an Apple t-shirt — in total a haul valued at 176,840 yen, or around $1,680.
No wonder he looks happy: