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.
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In the Western world, Santa Claus and Christmas rule the holiday season, but in Japan and other parts of Asia, it’s all about Fukubukuro or Lucky Bags, the annual New Year’s tradition where merchants distribute grab bags full of mystery contents at a huge discount to crazed shoppers.
This year, like every other year, Apple is taking part in the Lucky Bag phenomenon, allowing shoppers to spend about $400 for an Apple-certified Lucky Bag.
Usually, these bags have lower ticket items in them, like iPod touches and t-shirts, but every once in a while, some lucky S.O.B. gets a MacBook Air or a top-of-the-line iPad. There’s only a limited number of them, so you need to line up hours ahead of time. Anyone wish Apple did Lucky Bags over here?