Cashing in on the time change

Restaurants, retailers and language schools have been rolling out business strategies and special offers aimed at attracting people whose workplaces have introduced in-house daylight saving time programs.

The food service and retail industries, which have been struggling against a tide of sluggish consumer spending in recent years, view daylight saving time as a golden opportunity to increase sales.

The possible power shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake could signal a shift in language, from “after five”–referring to personal time after the workday ends at 5 p.m.–to “after four” to reflect the new hours due to daylight saving time.

Language school Gaba Corp. said it plans to offer an intensive summer course in July, targeting company employees who finish work early.

Language school Berlitz Japan, Inc. started offering online English lessons from 6:15 a.m. from June 1, up from 8:30 a.m.