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CoolBiz Yet Wearing of Ties Continues

8, 18. 2006

   "CoolBiz" is a coined word to name the Japanese government-led campaign to save energy by calling on office workers not to wear ties during the summer so that it might be easier for them to withstand higher room temperatures by cutting down on the use of air-conditioners. When the campaign first started, many people thought that it would deal a blow to the tie sales. The fact, however, was quite different from what the people had expected. Some department stores are suggesting summer fashions that go with ties yet still make it comfortable and cool around the neck, and just as effective for turning down the air-conditioner use. Ties seem to continue to be hanging around the necks of Japanese business people no matter what comes.

   Some shops have never seen decline in the tie sales since CoolBiz was promoted. The annex specializing for men's goods at the Shinjuku department store of Isetan Co. Ltd. is one of the shops where the tie sales have shown little change. The Isetan store displays knitted ties and ties made of linen fabric that deal with the summer time sweat. But the store does not make any special effort to sell them by appealing to the customers that they are just as good as not wearing ties to live up to CoolBiz. "Maybe people have the feeling that they would go far from fashionableness if they don't wear ties. They want to look good by wearing ties, and I think this is why the sales of ties wouldn't go down," said a person in charge of public relations at Isetan.

Men Conscious About Looks Won't Let Go the Ties

Business people are strongly attached to ties.
Business people are strongly attached to ties.

   The long-established "Taya" in Ginza operated by Harberdasher Taya Co., Ltd. told J-CAST Business News, "Men who are conscious about their appearances wouldn't even think of going without wearing ties just because of CoolBiz." The tie sales of this shop has not been affected at all by the CoolBiz campaign. "Ties are like the symbol for being a cultured person, and this way of thinking is firmly rooted among the Japanese people," the shop said.
   It is still a deeply rooted feeling among the Japanese men that they don't look proper and they shouldn't receive guests without wearing ties.
   The business practice of not flattering the CoolBiz advocators by continuing to sell ties seems to have worked well to keep the patronage of business people who dare not take off ties from their necks.

Department Stores Shifting Strategy to "Fashion Without Taking off Ties"

   The department stores which suffered a decline in necktie sales in 2005 are changing their sales strategy to "fashion without taking off ties" this year. The tie sales in 2005 at Nihonbashi department store of Takashimaya Co., Ltd. decreased about 20% from the previous year following the start of the CoolBiz campaign. The sales this year seem to be declining but by a negligible margin. At the Nihonbashi department store of Mitsukoshi, Ltd., a person in charge of public relations said, "We recommended casual styles without ties last year. But, this year, we are recommending styles that are suitable for business activities." Mitsukoshi is introducing jackets and ties made from materials that are selected with special care so that they are fit to wear in the summer weather.

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