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Briefly: Japanese Apple Stores likely to kick off 'lucky bag' sales on Jan. 2

Operating hours for Apple Store in Ginza, Tokyo shows early 8 a.m. open time for Jan. 2.

While no official announcement has been made, Apple is thought to be planning its annual "lucky bag" sale in Japan for Jan. 2, as the company will be opening stores early that day at 8 a.m. local time.

As it has done in years past, Apple Stores in Japan will likely start 2014 with sales of Fukubukuro, roughly translated to "lucky bags," in celebration of the Japanese new year. Apple retail locations across the country are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. local time on Jan. 2, some two hours earlier than usual, strongly hinting at an as yet unannounced sales event, reports Mac Otakara.

In practice, retailers participating in the custom bundle various goods in a bag, which is then sold for a preset price. The contents of each bag can vary, but customers never know exactly what is inside until the package is opened after purchase. If tallied up separately, the products are usually worth more than the package sales price, thereby offering consumers a discount, albeit sight-unseen.

Apple's Fukubukuro promotion has seen customers net savings of over $500 per bag as some contained "special gifts" like MacBook Airs and iPads. Last year, customers were so eager to get their hands on one of the few bundles allotted to each Apple Store that lines formed hours prior to opening.

The Fukubukuro custom was first started nearly 100 years ago in Tokyo's famous Ginza shopping district and quickly spread across the country. Other locales outside of Japan now practice the Fukubukuro tradition as well, including retailers in the U.S.