Reader Jed writes ….

Hello Mish,
Here is a humorous image of a sign I took yesterday at the Southdale Mall in Edina.


Thanks Jed but that store has a long, long way to compete with stores in Japan that sell things for 10 Yen (about 12 cents by current calculation).

Here is a Forex Currency Conversion Link.

¥10 Shops in Japan

Mike in Tokyo Rogers reports ¥10 Yen Shops in Japan! Proof of Deflation!

The Asia Times Online shows what 20 years of Japan’s economic policies have brought us: Severe deflation.

We have ¥10 yen shops selling daily items and doing brisk business in Japan.

The ¥10 yen shops sell loss leader items to attract the customers but the other items sell for about ¥88 each, so they even beat out the ¥100 yen shops.

The store that accomplishes all of this is called the Recycle Garden.

Deflation Dilemma

The article Mike Rogers referred to is Ten-yen stores capture deflation dilemma

With many worrying that the United States economy headed towards a painful Japanese-style deflation, the concept of “Japanization” is increasingly being bandied around the world. But what is “Japanization”?

One answer is found in Kawasaki City, about 20 kilometers southwest of downtown Tokyo. There, a 10 yen-shop called Recycle Garden (equivalent to a 10 cent store in the US) is attracting large numbers of customers by word of mouth. The outlet is one of nine Recycle Garden branches operated in the Kanto region centered on Tokyo and including Yokohama, Kawasaki and Atsugi.

At Recycle Garden, 10 yen buys the customer everyday items such as chopsticks, kitchen goods, nail-scissors, hand sanitizers, or air fresheners. A colored plastic hair clasp is also 10 yen. In the Kawasaki shop alone, the product lineup consists of about 1,000 items at 10 yen, with the number of goods totaling around 30,000. It’s all there.

Surprisingly, most of those products are made in Japan, not in China, Vietnam or Cambodia, from where usually cheaper and lower-quality goods flow into Japan.

“Everything is incredibly cheap,” said Kyoko Yamada, 52, a careworker, who lives in Tsurumi Ward adjoining Kawasaki, who on a recent visit to Recycle Garden bought 10 items such bath agents.

How is such unprecedented price-slashing possible?

The mechanism is this: amid an increasingly fierce pricing war among neighborhood retail shops such as 100-yen convenience stores, Recycle Garden makes bulk purchases of those goods from bankrupt shops and firms as from deceased manufacturing and wholesale merchants. In most cases, on hearing the news about a bankruptcy, Recycle Garden workers dash to the failed firms with large dump trucks, and buy up and take away immediately to their chain store a vast amount of goods.

“We are cutting prices to the bone,” said Tadafumi Fukuda, 41, manager at Recycle Garden’s Kawasaki outlet. “Since we also sell other items at 88 yen and above, 10-yen goods serve as a crowd puller.” The number of customers visiting the shop has increased 20% from a year ago, when the shop started to sell 10-yen goods, he said.

Can this happen in the US? I think it can, no matter what Bernanke thinks.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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