Shopping Experiences

26 May

Before coming to Japan, I had already been thinking of all of the shopping I would do! However, after my first shopping experience, I realized shoes and clothing shopping was not something I would be doing a lot of. A part of this is due to the prices of the clothes here. Japan has a lot of small shops, but in my opinion they are to high-priced for the quality. Most of the clothing is very thin and does not seem very washer-friendly. Of course there are tons of more popularly (globally) known stores such as Forever 21, TopShop, H&M, Zara, etc, but because the exchange rate ($1=81.96 Yen) is so bad, I almost feel like it would be a waste for me to spend more money on items I can find in the States.

The second reason is because the great size difference. I knew that Japanese people were for the most part smaller than Americans, but I didn’t realize there would be such a difference in sizes offered in their stores.­­­­­­ For example, I recently went on a search for gym shoes because I only packed one shoe. I found a really good store but the largest size they sold was a women’s 8. I was thinking “wth”, I wear a size in 9 and in America that’s a pretty common size. I had to buy a (ugly) men’s shoe!!!

Even in American stores, they have a selection (although may be small) of shoes that come in the “extended sizes”, but here, no way! Coming from a Retailing standpoint, I could see why this would make sense because the larger sizes probably wouldn’t sell too well, but I think the U.S.’s method of still carrying a few of those sizes is much better.  Of course in the U.S, companies choose products more so based on their target markets, but that does not mean that that will be the only products they carry. They still offer items that they would probably not be the first choice for their target markets. This makes it possible for them to expand their markets and customers.

We went to 109, which is like a department store filled with 5 floors of different small shops. Even there, the sizes there offered (both in clothing and shoes) were very limited, and much of the clothing was “one-size fits all”. For example, one store only sold jeans in sizes 0,1, and 2. Shopping here is definitely a differene experience than the States.

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2 Responses to “Shopping Experiences”

  1. Tiffany Phan May 29, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Shopping for shoes was a challenge. I swear walking up and down the block all we would ever find are women’s shoes. It was also a challenge to as the sales people about what sizes were available. It seemed like we would get funny looks when asking them for an American size instead of European.

  2. Ben Fico June 9, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    It seems like everyone in Tokyo is basically the same size. All the clothes are really expensive, but I guess everything here is pretty expensive. That’s crazy that the largest size of jeans is a size 2. If a store did that in the US they would be out of business in a week. I remember American Apparel got in trouble for only selling some clothing in sizes XS, S, and M.

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