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Wholesale supermarkets that sell foodstuffs for restaurants are gaining in popularity among general consumers thanks to their low prices and wide range of merchandise. These supermarkets serve small-scale eating and drinking establishments. But in most cases, ordinary consumers can also shop there, availing themselves of bargain prices that the stores can offer as they sell goods in bulk.


 
 
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Suntory To Make Private-Label No-Malt Beers For Seven & I and Aeon  -- Suntory Liquors Ltd. will supply leading retailers Seven & i Holdings Co. and Aeon Co. with private-label no-malt beers from late July. In the past, beer has been supplied to select retailers on a limited-time basis, but this is the first time a brewer will regularly provide a private-brand product.


 
 

Maternity specialist Mamas & Papas is to launch in Japan after striking a distribution deal with local nursery goods group Pigeon Corporation.

The venture is targeting turnover of ¥2bn (£12.6m) and will go live next spring. Mamas & Papas deputy chief executive Richard Faulkner said the Japanese deal would give the retailer access to a market where there are nearly 1 million births a year, offering “a significant international trading opportunity”.

He said: “This deal heralds the start of what will be a long and successful relationship, which we hope will develop and advance towards greater business opportunities in the Japanese market.” The retailer already has 15 stores in the Middle East in partnership with Al Tayer Group and is gearing up for launch in Russia with FD Lab. Mamas & Papas said it is achieving “buoyant sales” in its home UK market and will take its store count from 32 to 36 by the end of this year and aims to have 50 in this country within 18 months. (RetailWeek)

 
 
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Japan has announced its biggest monthly trade surplus in a year, supporting hopes that the world's second largest economy is slowly recovering from its worst recession on record. Exports exceeded imports for a fourth straight month, giving a vital boost to an economy that is heavily dependent on overseas demand, government data showed.

 
 
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A walking humanoid robot that is able to use its whole face and body to express emotion was unveiled on Tuesday in Japan. The robot was created by scientists at Tokyo's Waseda University and is thought to be the first of its kind according to its makers.


 
 
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Louis Vuitton seems very inspired by Japan and everything Japanese. After Murakami the brand now follows Kawakubo’s fantastic new concept of underground guerrilla stores which pop-up as mysteriously as they disappear, leaving fans clamouring for more Thus LV recently opened their new temporary underground store in Tokyo, located in the Seibu department store of Ikebukuro.

 
 
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Mitsubishi Motors Corp. took the wraps off its new i-MiEV electric vehicle Friday, staking its fate on the zero-emission car as its best hope for a "green technology" future.
The egg-shaped, four-seat hatchback is the latest addition to a cadre of environment-friendly cars that have surfaced sinc Honda Motor Co.'s Insight hybrid and Toyota Motor Corp.'s remodeled Prius hybrid heated up the market for gasoline-electric cars.