Laox lets Chinese tourists to Japan pre-order duty-free

Tokyo-based duty-free operator Laox is allowing Chinese tourists to Japan to do their tax-free shopping online in advance of their visit.

The duty-free goods will be listed on an Alibaba-hosted website, allowing consumers to purchase their goods online and pick them up at Laox locations of their choice within Japan up to a month following the transaction. Travellers will need to show purchase records on their phone and present their passports to be eligible for tax exemption.

The number of goods available for purchase on the website is expected to grow to about 5000 items from the roughly 100 currently available already.

The service is launching during a period of stagnation in the Chinese tourist market, as Japanese retailers face intensifying competition.

Laox’s strategy is intended to spare shoppers the inconvenience of hunting for the products they want within physical stores. It is the first such scheme hosted on an Alibaba site.

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