Just a few weeks ago, as the World Cup got underway, expectations were running high for Japan’s national soccer team, which played impressively on its way to making the Group of 16 four years ago in South Africa. Seemingly the whole country was pumped up, with both long-time soccer nuts and people who ordinarily have little interest in sports getting behind the men in blue.
Sadly, though, Japan’s shot in Brazil came to a close after just three games, with its best outing being a 0-0 draw with Greece. It’s safe to say fans are disappointed, and there’s another group of people that acutely shares their pain: retailers stuck with boxes of unsold Japanese soccer team merchandise.
On the days of Japan’s matches, parts of Tokyo were covered in the blue of fans’ jerseys, massive advertisements, and all kinds of product packaging featuring the team’s color and logo. Had the Japanese team advanced past the group stages, retailers no doubt expected to see their sales grow in step with the excitement in Japan, and apparently stocked up on merchandise in anticipation of the team meeting with at least as much success as it had in South Africa.
With Japan’s campaign cut short, though, store owners need to clear out shelf space for other items, leading to sad scenes like this.
Yes, everything soccer-related must go. Not even celebrity spokes-Pokémon Pikachu is being spared the fallout, as this pile of discounted jersey-wearing plushies shows.
If you’re looking for a new sports towel, it’s a buyer’s market. 500 yen (US$4.95) seems to be about the most savvy shoppers need to spend.
Still too rich for your blood? Then how about a 200-yen hand towel? Always a useful thing to have during Japan’s steamy summer months!
Or take that same literal pile of change and get yourself two wristbands.
If you’re a dejected soccer fan who’s turning to binge eating to help you get over the shock of Japan’s early exit, you can fill up on the cheap with these discounted pies and chocolates.
Or, if you’re looking for something salty, these corn snacks, in “hot San Rio” flavor, have had their price hammered down from 128 to just 80 yen.
There also seems to be a bit of a price war on Japan soccer potato chips.
Under current conditions, only a chump would shell out the original 93 yen.
57 yen? Better, but still not the best deal for savvy shoppers.
There we go. At just over one yen per gram of comfort food, heartbroken soccer supporters be able to afford plenty of salty accompaniment for the many beers they’ll need to drown their sorrows.