By Ritsuko Shimizu TOKYO (Reuters) - Cashmere sweaters at Uniqlo. Gourmet coffee and ice cream at 7-Eleven. These incongruously premium offerings by two of Japan's biggest retailers are part of a ... more 
By Ritsuko Shimizu TOKYO (Reuters) - Cashmere sweaters at Uniqlo. Gourmet coffee and ice cream at 7-Eleven. These incongruously premium offerings by two of Japan's biggest retailers are part of a strategy to lift profit margins by enticing thrifty shoppers to splurge on little luxuries. Uniqlo brand owner Fast Retailing and Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd plans to boost spending per customer are being challenged as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's aggressive economic stimulus has done little to loosen the purse strings of Japan's traditionally frugal consumers. ... less 
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Sun, Oct 6, 2013 6:40 PM EDT