Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - Page 13 News List

PCSC may cut prices of Japanese products

REVISIONS:President Chain Store Corp said the new prices are expected to take effect in April, but did not specify how much prices and which products would be cut

By Amy Su and Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporters

President Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商), which operates the nation’s largest convenience store chain and dozens of affiliated firms, yesterday confirmed that some of its affiliated enterprises may cut prices for products imported from Japan to reflect a decrease in costs because of a weakened Japanese yen.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Economic Affairs called for price cutting by companies selling brands or products imported from Japan, citing the recent weakness of the Japanese yen.

Afternoon Tea Taiwan Corp (統一午茶風光), a Japanese combined shop and cafe providing food, clothing and shelter that was introduced in Taiwan by PCSC, said the plan of adjusting downward prices for some products is proceeding, with new prices expected to take effect in April at the earliest.

However, the company did not specify how much prices or which products would be cut, a President Chain Store public relations specialist said by telephone. Co Ltd (台灣無印良品), a Japanese lifestyle brand operated by PCSC, may also revise downward prices for some of its products in the second quarter, after selling out inventories ordered last year, according to a report by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News.

Currently, President Chain Store operates 14 Afternoon Tea shops and 28 MUJI stores in Taiwan.

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the nation’s largest automobile retailer and the country’s Toyota dealer, also said that it decided to freeze a plan to increase prices because of the weak yen.

Originally, the company planned to increase prices by 1 percent starting next month.

“After communicating with our Japanese suppliers about the situation in Taiwan, they offered us a positive response and agreed to halt the price increase,” a Hotai official said by telephone on Thursday.

In December last year, Hotai said it would raise prices this year because its Japanese suppliers had been suffering from increasing losses resulting from yen appreciation since 2008, the official said.

Nissan and Infiniti car distributor Yulon-Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產) said yesterday that it also canceled a scheduled price increase this year, but because of meager profits last year and rising raw material costs it could not cut prices.

Casual clothing retailer Muji (無印良品), Hotai, Yulon-Nissan and China Motor were among 11 companies invited by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to a meeting to discuss their pricing on Feb. 1 on the back of the recent weakness of the Japanese yen.

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