Leading up to the burst of the luxury bubble or as some refer it to it the Lehman Shock, the culture of luxury consumption in Japan and worldwide was one of insatiability and self-indulgence.
Since the bottom dropped out on luxury at the end of 2007 not only has consumption dramatically decreased but in correlation so have sales. Nowhere is that scene more prominently than in department stores which experienced thirty-one consecutive months of declining sales. Overall every product category has experienced declines and are still in decline, some more than others i.e., luxury timepieces and RTW. One product category which has rebounded – relatively – is cosmetics, which has experienced an only 8.1% decline in sales since the luxury bubble burst.
Cosmetics, a boon for department stores are seen as a necessary expenditure for both Japanese women and men, so ahem, their rebound comes as little surprise.
Data Japan Department Stores Association