Tokyu Hands

Again from Monocle, this short feature on Toyku Hands got me thinking about the one we have in Singapore.

It’s huge and the inventory spreads across just about everything. It’s where people come in and browse, be awed by the wide range of selections. It’s not as colossal as the 7-storey building in Tokyo, and the brands they carry aren’t as comprehensive. Still, people stream in and browse, often leaving without buying anything. Have they become a place where the foot traffic is high but the actual purchase is just a mere fraction?

I can’t help but compare it to an upscaled Daiso. Daiso is the ultimate 100-yen (or $2) shop, where you can just about find anything you need in your house. I recently bought some practical and pretty lovely stuffs – pastries plates, mircofiber cloths, magic sponge and the likes. At $2 a piece, it’s cheap and gets the job done.

Tokyu Hands is of course not Daiso. The positioning and the target audience is entirely different. But being Japanese brands, comparison will be inevitable. I hope that Tokyu Hands thrive, for it brings diversity and quality to the Japanese mix of products we have here.