I've never been ashopping.
As a teenager, Iby my mum to buy clothes. I should have been happy that I was getting all of these new to to my friends, but I only experienced one feeling — boredom. As I started to my own money to buy things, I would always look online for what I needed. It was so much easier: One click of a button, a week-long wait, then the product would be at my door.
and I'm living in Japan, where retail culture is taken to a new — and extremely — level.
In Tokyo, there are shopseverywhere. It sometimes feels like you can't walk ten yards without entering a store (often without realizing it). Inside some train stations, you can walk straight from the ticket to a department store without leaving the building. Hungry? Pick from snacks at an tiny kiosk at the entrance to the station. Need a pair of shoes? Shops like Its Demo have in the underground passages between platforms.
Step out onto the street and you've got shops thatselling only one thing. One thing! Shops in the U.K. would never take that risk — everybody's always looking for ways to and expand their business. But here in Japan it's a case of do one thing and do it well enough that people will round the block to get it — a sight that's across the city.
I'm also always amazed at theof stores in Japan. Around where I live there's a dusty covered arcade of stores that look as though they've been there since the '50s and have never changed their . I recently stopped into an hat store which stocked examples of fashion that were so retro I'm sure my own grandma would describe them as vintage. Yet these shops keep going, and growing. This particular store was having a closing-down sale as it was expanding to bigger !
So what does that mean for someone who's notshopping? Well I'll , my dislike of shopping is starting to . I think it's to do with the way shops are presented in Japan. Everything is so laid out (especially the food) and it's one of my favorite activities to a depachika on the weekend. That's the ridiculously good customer service. (Try asking a store in the U.K. if they'll gift-wrap something for free. They won't.)
I guess,I don't buy anything, it's OK, right?
The Japan Times ST: April 7, 2017