Department stores go virtual for summer gift sales

Department stores in Japan are coming up with virtual ways to prepare for the country's summer gift season amid pandemic restrictions, with some turning to cyberspace to reduce foot traffic and help promote sales.

Daimaru Matsuzakaya has launched a virtual reality shopping site for the season.

People in Japan often exchange gifts at this time of year to offer summer greetings.

The company's site is designed to make customers feel like they are visiting the store in person. They can also see sellers pitching their products.

Isetan Mitsukoshi has uploaded video clips of seasonal gifts its stores are offering. These include broiled eel, which is a summertime favorite in Japan for boosting resilience to heat.

The company's website also shows interviews with producers about their goods.