Holiday shopping blitz in Japan lacks momentum due to short supply

Japan Times -- Dec 27
The year-end and New Year’s shopping blitz is lacking steam in Japan due to stalled goods production blamed on shortages of semiconductors and other parts and components.

“A wide range of consumer electronics have been affected” by the parts shortages, an industry analyst said.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 video game console marked cumulative sales of 10 million units in July this year, only about eight months after it was released in November 2020, reaching the milestone faster than any other PlayStation model. But PS5 is now seen selling for over Y100,000, double its regular price, on online flea markets amid a supply shortage.

Last month, Nintendo Co. lowered the fiscal 2021 sales estimate for its Nintendo Switch game console to 24 million units from 25.5 million units. The current level of production “cannot meet demand,” Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said, adding that he sees “no signs” of the situation over the semiconductor shortage improving any time soon.

Home-use printers are also in short supply. At retail outlets, many relatively affordable models, with price tags of below Y40,000, are on back order. This has resulted from “both logistics constraints and semiconductor shortages,” an official of a major printer-maker Seiko Epson Corp. said.

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