For brick and mortar retailers, surviving the pandemic is tough, and only getting tougher. As such, the retail sector is beginning to show signs of slowing down. According to Bloomberg, retail sales are falling greater than expected during the winter months.
Owing to weak demand, employees are also seeing their seasonal bonuses, a sizable portion of salaries in Japan, reduced. This development will likely further weaken demand.
Overall, like in other countries, there seems to be a lot of pressure on businesses, especially small operations. Unfortunately, government-enforced restrictions will likely only make matters worse.
Making a presence online
Although everyone is suffering throughout the final—knock on wood—throes of the pandemic, I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for young people who are having to limit their education, employment, and other activities during what may be the prime years of their lives. Fortunately, the demographic is highly adaptive, especially when it comes to incorporating digital solutions for expressing themselves. The portal site Out in Kyoto provides a good example of this tenacity of spirit.
In April, the Japanese government announced a state of emergency which saw a majority of non-essential businesses temporarily closing shop. Naturally, many clothing stores and other retailers thought to move business online while strengthening their online presence. Despite the predominance of digital economies today, that task proved to be more complicated than many had expected.
Under these circumstances, Out in Kyoto was developed. With the notion of strength in numbers, the portal sight seeks to gather independent used clothing stores and promote them via an accessible website. This hopefully helps customers discover vendors they may have missed while furthering the culture of buying and enjoying second-hand clothing, especially among young people.
Changing the culture
If you’re anything like me, used clothing is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Kyoto. Indeed, traditional crafts or delicious cuisine are ingrained in my image of the ancient city.
However, according to Out in Kyoto, this narrow concept of Kyoto does it a disservice. After all, the creators of the site are quick to remind viewers that the compact city is full of universities. Every spring, the town becomes particularly active as young people flock to it and leave their mark via their lifestyle.
Indeed, Out in Kyoto celebrates this youth-inspired culture of Kyoto often overlooked due to other traditional appeals of the city. Naturally, clothing—notably used clothing—is a big part of this youth-led element. Out in Kyoto sees the promotion of this style as an essential part of promoting the city. It is currently doing its part by helping young people discover retailers that can help them express themselves.
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