Tue, Jan 24, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Hundreds line up for stores’ ‘lucky bags’

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter

Shoppers at a Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store in Taipei yesterday inspect their “lucky bags” for which they had waited in line.

Photo: Luo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Big crowds lined up in front of department stores nationwide yesterday on the first morning of the Lunar New Year to try to win cash certificates and merchandise in “lucky bags” (福袋).

Lucky bags filled with various goods were sold at discount prices on New Year’s Day, as a thank you to customers, is a tradition that began in Japan some years ago.

In recent years, many department stores and retailers in Taiwan picked up the practice of selling lucky bags filled with unknown goods on the first day of the Lunar New Year as part of celebration of the holiday.

While the merchandise in the bags varied from cash certificates to electric appliances, the latest smartphones, blankets and even care products, some special prizes included diamonds and automatic massage chairs.

This year, a total of 10 cars were given out as the first prize at 10 department stores across the nation, which was reportedly the most number of cars given away in recent years.

Despite the rain, and temperatures as low as 10?C, some people began to line up in front of department stores a few days ago, equipped with food and sleeping bags, to ensure that they would be the first to enter the store and obtain a lucky bag.

However, one case of “line rage” was reported in front of a department store in Greater Taichung yesterday.

A woman who accused another woman of cutting in the line for lucky bags was hit in the face with a motorcycle helmet by the other woman.

“She jumped the line, and I only spoke out of justice to stop her. Then she hit me with her helmet several times and scratched my face,” the woman said after the alleged attacker was taken away by the police.

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