Hokkaido product fairs resumed at Tokyo Metropolitan area department stores, very popular

Customers buying seafood

Department stores in the Tokyo Metropolitan area have frequently started holding “Hokkaido product fairs” from September onwards. The fairs had previously been completely canceled from spring through early summer due to the novel corona virus pandemic. Since the number of customers has decreased, the stores want the popular event to be the trigger to attract customers. They reduced the number of shops to prevent virus spreading, but the sales are better than expected. Also, the companies that have joined from Hokkaido are working hard to make up for previous income losses as much as possible.
“It was canceled in the spring, so I was looking forward to this,” a homemaker from Yokohama City was excited to say, buying a steak take-out meal and other items at the Hokkaido product fair at Sogo Yokohama on September 28. The store usually holds the Hokkaido product fair twice a year, but the spring event was canceled this year since the emergency declaration was announced at the same timing of the event. This time, the number of the shops was reduced to 50 stores, 30% lower than the average year. Additionally, entrance is restricted when inflow exceeds 250 customers inside the event space. Even with these restrictions, the overall product fair sales reached 90% of last year’s sales. The event manager said, “These numbers are bigger than I expected. The sales for each individual store are high.”
Among various kinds of fairs at department stores, the Hokkaido product fair is one of the most popular fairs. The superb reputation is one of, “Hokkaido has a wide range of food products such as meats, seafood, and sweets, so the fair attracts a lot of customers.” It also has the effect of increasing customer numbers across the entire store.
Resuming food and product fairs is good news for business owners in Hokkaido. The sales of wholesale and retail agricultural produce from Sapporo shops in Sogo Yokohama rose 1.5 times higher than last year. After such an intense coronavirus pandemic shock, the fair manager said, “I am so glad they resumed the event.”