XXI – Forever? in Matsuzakaya – Ginza

This is not fresh news but for those who missed it, Forever 21 – XXI opened its doors in Matsuzakaya in Ginza few weeks ago.

Everyone who goes to Ginza those days cannot miss the new shop within the old department store.
Sales are good, Store looks great, Staff is polite – I mean we are Japan – and Clothes… well… I bought my first shirt today!
To be perfectly honest this is for my friend’s birthday! Well, that’s a start, isn’t it!
I have to admit here that I saw this same shirt in Abercrombie & Fitch 30 min before but I didn’t want to spend 10500 yen and I finally found almost the same (really!) for 2990 yen!

Now, after climbing up to the 5th floor – and I did enjoyed it somehow – I finally got out thru Matsuzakaya and… how can I explain this… It’s another World!

You would think that with the opening of the trendy boutique in this big department store they would have somehow… Renew it? A little bit at least!
No… when you come out from the 5th floor of Forever 21, you enter another dimension where time had stop since 1978 (or 1979 I am not sure anymore – and I wasn’t born anyway!). And suddenly you don’t look the part with your yellow plastic bag, your iPhone and your H&M Cap. People – customers and employees stares at you and you can almost hear them saying: “another freak, don’t come here we have nothing for you! go back to the future!” So with all my strengh – I already shop for 3 hours so not much left but… – I decided to make my way through and try to get interested in what was sold on the 5th Floor.  I went all around, looked at brands I’ve never heard off, Styles that will never make any “come-back”, priced 5 or 6 times more expensive then where I came from… when suddenly I could catch on the face of one of the youngest employee a desperate sight that could meant “Take me out of here!” or something like “Run! Go! Before they get you!”
I felt really sorry for him and wanted to drag him out of here with me but 5 seconds later he disappeared behind someone who I beleive was his manager… and you could that see she was not happy to see…  So I left the poor sale clerk behind. Anyway I finally hit again the noisy, colorful and welcoming XXI store… My advice for next time you go shopping in Forever 21 in Ginza take the elevator to get out… there is not other Exit!

Also, please, could anyone tell me why they called the store XXI – 95% of Japanese never used roman numeral – how confusing!

My opinion, at this stake,  one or the other will have to go…
The veteran Department Store who has been establish in the area for more than 50 years or the New Trendy Boutique in town?…
If you click on Ginza Matsuzakaya ‘s home page and go to the floor guide… Forever 21 isn’t listed! How can they not included it, considering that since they opened the Department Store increased his sales for the 1st time in 11 months!

It is maybe time to think on how to live together…


Yanai Tadashi (Uniqlo) to rule Japan? Not such a bad idea after all…

Re-blogged from Lpogtokyo

Today with the step down of Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, again Japan is showing the world its failure and weakness in terms of Politic both on the National and International scene.

Now it is really hard to believe that, whether if he is from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) or from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the next Prime Minister will be able to handle the BIG mess that is Politic in Japan.

Ruling a Country, especially the 2nd economy of the World, implicates obstacles and you cannot step down just because your popularity isn’t at its best or because your shirt is absolutely hideous (Hatoyama worn a flamboyant shirt at a recent barbecue that drew mention in the media as an example of odd taste. Article here and buy the shirt here ➔http://www.shirtsmyway.com/product.php)
Bush, Sarkozy, Clinton, Blair or Obama to name a few, they all had to face their Country and justify themselves or accept their failure or misbehavior at some point. And they stayed in place…!

And please don’t justify yourself  with the “not losing the face” cultural same old excuse. Only Samurai do not want to loose the face. The Shogun Era is long gone and  it is time too take some responsibility in action, face the reality and fight it!
Japan, you cannot be one most powerful Economy and not get involved in the World Meltdown and hopefully its Rebirth…!

Now I wonder who can handle this really?
I already had in mind someone for quite some time and by looking at an interview of him published in Monocle (2009) suddenly it all seemed so clear.
A visionary, someone  who is not afraid to fail, to crash and fly again, to make mistake and to repair them, someone who wants to show to the rest of the world that Japan is a powerful country with value tradition and ready to responsibilities, as the World 2nd Economy.

And he is not the most powerful person in Japan by accident…

That says it all:

“I might look successful but I’ve had many failures. People take failure too seriously. You have to be positive and believe you will find success next time.”

Yanai Tadashi, CEO
Fast Retailing  Co., Ltd

PS: my next post will be an open letter to Yanai-san – don’t miss it!