The owners of the LC World Motosu shopping mall, located in Gifu Prefecture’s Motosu City, must have been proud on opening day, which took place in 1992. With 100,000 square meters of commercial space for 107 retailers, including a full-sized supermarket, surely LC World would become a gathering place for the entire community.
Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly pan out that way, as documented by Japanese Twitter user @yogoren.
Twenty-four years after opening its doors for the first time, LC World now has only one functioning entrance. That’s OK, though, because it also only has a single operating store: the above-mentioned supermarket.
Sure, almost every section of the grocery store is empty, not just of foodstuffs but shelves, too. But the market is still stocked with one item -- onions.
Actually, onions outnumber worker in the store by a pretty wide margin, since the single-variety produce stand is entirely unmanned. Instead of a cashier, there’s a collection box into which customers are supposed to put their money, and a sign indicating the onions’ price as 100 yen each.
Self-serve, honor-system fruit and vegetable stands aren’t entirely unheard of in Japan (we came across one on our bike tour of the Inland Sea, for example). Still, they’re usually found in rural areas, or at most suburban communities. Seeing one inside a large-scale shopping mall is a bit of a shock, and the situation only gets weirder when you consider that since the onions don’t appear to be rotten, someone is regularly coming in to resupply the stand with fresh produce.
“It was evening when I took this picture, but they hadn’t sold a single onion that day,” said @yogoren after looking at the empty collection box. With that kind of economic performance, it’s hard to say how long the onion stand will stay in business, unless its peak sales hours take place in the middle of the night when the zombies that we assume live in all abandoned malls come in to buy something to spruce up the stir-fried brains they’re cooking for dinner.
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