Heat-beating retail goods jump off shelves as Japan scorched by heat

TOKYO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Retail goods designed for combating heat are jumping off the shelves in Japan amid a record-breaking heatwave, local media reported Monday.

File photo: CFP

Innovative "cooling" products such as spray-on sunscreens that form a cool foam once released and similarly inventive products that cool the neck, as well as tech-infused face masks that are both cooling and breathable, have seen a surge in sales of late.

Household goods retailer Loft said such items to beat the heat have been leaving the shelves at a rate 70 percent higher in June than in the same period a year earlier, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK.

Loft, the popular multi-floored high street store in Tokyo, said that sales of goods designed to combat the scorching heat have been rapid, and the store is doing its best to keep up with ever-increasing demand as the mercury continues to soar, according to NHK.

Products designed to save energy are also high on consumers' lists, Loft said.

It has partly been driven by the government's recent request to businesses and households in Japan to conserve energy during peak demand in the afternoons and evenings for a three-month "energy saving" period through September, the first such request the government has made in seven years aimed at avoiding a power crunch.

Such goods include sun-blocking, and heat-reflecting sheets used to cover outdoor air conditioner units. The sheets work in such a way that electricity is saved by ensuring the air conditioning units do not overheat in the sun, home-improvement store operator DCM said, according to NHK.

Other popular products consumers have been making beelines to, have been window films that limit the amount of sunlight to pass through, thus making it easier to keep rooms cool inside of homes and offices and thus conserve power.

DCM said sales of its window films had more than tripled in the last week of June compared to the same period a year earlier, as record temperatures, some topping the 40-degree Celsius mark, scorched regions in Japan.

With the unseasonably high temperatures set to continue, DCM said it expects demand for such products to continue and will do its best to ensure it can maintain adequate stock levels.