Behind Flashy Ipo Of Japans Mercari Lies A Thriving Thrift Economy

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TOKYO – When flea market app Mercari (4385.T) makes its market debut on Tuesday, it will mark the appearance of one of Japan’s rarest beasts: a tech unicorn.

In most countries, a billion-dollar IPO might suggest the return of an equity boom. But in Japan, it sheds light on a “thrift economy” for second-hand items, which is thriving even as the Bank of Japan tries to stoke inflation.

Mercari’s app allows users to buy and sell from each other, swiping and tapping their way through items as diverse as designer clothes and toilet paper tubes.




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