Annals of cheap: Kenko.com
Remember back in March, right after the earthquake, when people all over the Kanto area were cleaning the stores out of batteries and mineral water? It seems like a long time ago, especially to Kenko.com, an Internet sales company that specializes in “everyday goods.” Like a lot of retailers, Kenko.com made a lot of money in a short time and expected to keep making it, but people eventually calmed down. In the meantime, the company bought all the bottled water it could get its hands on and as a result it’s been left with a huge overrun of inventory. By June 11, its stock of bottled water was 37 percent larger than it was exactly a year earlier.
The loss in profits for the company as a result of this over-supply is estimated to be anywhere from ¥180 to ¥220 million for fiscal 2011, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and the stockholders are understandably anxious, so that means they’ve got to get rid of this water.
Consumers who are still edgy about radiation and cesium in their food and drink should note that the product Kenko.com is most determined to unload is Crystal Geyser, which is bottled in California. Right now you can get a case of 48 500-ml bottles for ¥1,290, which works out to about ¥27 per bottle. In fact, the whole Crystal Geyser line is cheap, maybe even cheaper than tap water. But there are other foreign water brands available: Contrex is ¥1,555 for a case of 24 500-ml bottles; 12 1.5-liter bottles of Volvic goes for ¥1,675. Even better is that, for the time being at least, there are no delivery fees for any bottled water products.