December 2015
From The Director


As the year end draws near, many of us will be thinking of holiday parties and feasts. Some businesses will be worried about the coming consumption tax hike to 10%. What about the consumption of beef? This month we take a look at the consumer economics in Japan that have paved the way for a premium-price hamburger boom. Less than a decade ago, the hamburger was the domain of fast food chains—a cheap lunch. These days, McDonald’s Japan is in an economic tailspin, the fast food market is evolving and consumers are gladly paying more than ¥1,000 yen for “gourmet” burgers. You’ll find more juicy details in our article.

Of course, the year-end holiday season is also ready reminder that it’s never too early to start planning for the future. Our objective is to help you get the best results possible. Please feel free to contact your Select Asset financial advisor at any time. If you do not currently have an advisor, please reply to this email and one of our senior consultants will contact you promptly. Select Asset Management wishes the very best for you in the New Year.

Best Regards,

Imants Katlaps

Managing Director



After international markets crashed at the end of the last decade and Japan’s already stagnant economy took a near knock-out blow, Japanese consumers started looking at lower prices for clothing, food and even dining out. The market that put premium service and quality above all else was now open to a bargain, and a new generation of Japanese people seemed happy to embrace a less extravagant lifestyle – after all, they’d never seen a boom.

In the years since, discount retail operations such as Aeon Co. Ltd., have done well by offering low-priced (often own-brand) supermarket goods rather than anything extravagant. Indeed, many of the country’s biggest brands started to offer products for pockets on a budget and luxury brands saw a sharp decline.

So here we are heading into 2016, and the economy isn’t exactly taking off. Despite this somewhat blue Christmas season, something very interesting is happening in Japan’s retailing sector.

After Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised consumption taxes from 5% to 8% in April 2014 as part of a plan ultimately targeting a 10% tax, it seems that Japanese consumers have turned their focus to seeking value rather than just low prices. Instead of simply saving every penny, statistics show that more Japanese are making sure that every penny spent counts...
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