Fukushima eyes retail space in Tokyo area to promote its products

The Fukushima prefectural government will set up permanent corners for the sale of local agricultural, forestry and marine products at supermarkets and other retail outlets in the Tokyo metropolitan region as soon as this summer. The move is intended to help improve sales of Fukushima products and dissipate harmful rumors stemming from the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant. The local government plans to subsidize expenses for sales staff in charge of such corners and introduce a scheme under which consumers purchasing Fukushima products will be given benefits. Behind the sales promotion campaign is the prefecture's belief that its direct involvement in the distribution sector is necessary to restore lost consumer confidence in Fukushima products stemming from the accident in addition to the ongoing effort to publicize the results of radiation detection tests aimed at ensuring product safety and improving consumer psychology. The Fukushima government is considering establishing product corners at about 10 shops initially in the metropolitan region, including outlets of major supermarket operators with nationwide store networks. It will gradually increase such corners in line with consumer reactions and other factors. Items to be sold at these corners will include fruit, vegetables, rice and meat. Sales staff will promote these products by offering shoppers tasting services to let them learn of their tastiness and charms. The planned benefits for consumers are expected to include free Fukushima products given to buyers chosen by lot. Companies that will set up sales space are to be selected through public invitations on the basis of their proposals for sales promotion, including how to draw consumer attention. On the part of companies, the project is expected to benefit them by attracting shoppers and increasing sales. (Translated by Kyodo News)