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What do you think of Japanese department stores?

16 Comments

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16 Comments
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Dead or dying.

Shopping patterns have changed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Totally overpriced with far more staff than necessary. It is like running the gauntlet just to walk through one floor

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Way overpriced !! I saw a regular baseball cap with New York logo (NY Yankees) priced at like 6,000 yen. And there's too much shouting, that irritating "irrrashai!!" shouted by all them way "more than necessary" staff.

If you were to go out and buy a decent pair of dress shoes, shirt, slacks and couple odds & ends items, you'd be spending a lot of money. Especially at dept stores like Marui.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The noise is awful. Especially the shops that make their staff shout through their noses. Row upon row of beautiful women working in fashion stores making noises like a cat getting strangled. It is worse on sale days as they give the staff megaphones to out shout the competitors.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I heard older Japanese people like to send gifts wrapped in Mitsukoshi or other posh wrapping paper. The company I work for used to send summer and winter gifts like this until we abandoned the practice about 10 years ago. The younger generation don't seem to care too much. Maybe they couldn't care less, just don't have the money or both. As BertieWooster said, not a bright future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have hated them for over 2 decades now, the noise, crowds, pricing, it all seems INSANE to me.....

Although the occasions I get dragged through the basements with the Mrs on occasion do make me hungry!!

By & large they are one of the last places I want to end up on any given day!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think they are great, though they were better before they got overrun by tourists. It's true they seem overstaffed but that's better than in my home country (Australia), where they have cut back on floor staff. Sometimes, it's hard to find anyone to serve you.

My mother always loved visiting Japanese department stores. She loved the exquisite way they wrapped items.

Nowadays, I go to the food basements to take home dinner at least once a week. Mitsukoshi in Ginza is my favorite, followed by Isetan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Too noisy, overcrowded & poorly laid out.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They're OK, but a little snobby. Especially if you're in those in Ginza/Nihonbashi. They feel like they're catering to the old crowd, remebering the "good" times. If you go to the suburb ones (Ito Yokado, for example) they are quite depressing, even if they occasionally have fun stuff. I try to avoid department stores as much as possible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I miss Daiei. There's an unserved gap between overpriced and hyaku-en shop.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Guess I'm a little old-fashioned ... as I love 'em. As I live near Shinjuku here in Tokyo, I enjoy strolling through Isetan, Odakyu, Odakyu Halc, Takashimiya and the noisy but exciting BIC Camera and Don Quihote stores. Also enjoy the special attractions, such as "France Week," "Italian Week" and other international food fairs. Pricey, yes, but you don't have to be rich to enjoy them ... do as I do ... do a lot of "window shopping."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, I think it says a lot that if you ask a Japanese person what the closest department store is they don't mention the local Izumiya, Saty, or what have you, but point to the inner-city Daimaru, Hankyu, or other sparkling, overpriced towers. The term "Depato" has become synonymous with "expensive", when in actuality a department store is any store, owned by a private company, divided into departments or sections where you can find the goods sold by that company (with some other independent shops).

So, are we talking the real definition or the Japanese one?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

There are certain depaato around me that I think if they could legally impose a dress code and a ban on gaijin customers, they would.

Most also seem to suffer from a blandness trap: Their shops tend to sell the least threatening, most mainstream products available, maybe because space is at such a premium because station-adjacent land is so expensive that no one dares waste it on niche goods. But paradoxically, if there are no niche goods, there never is a reason for me to visit a depaato because everything they have is something I can get elsewhere, usually at a far lower price.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Some are remarkably old-fashioned in their layout and in what they sell. It's as if they don't care.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bubble-era anachronism.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Very broad question....the experience of shopping at the flagship stores of Isetan, Mitsukoshi, or Takeshimaya is so pleasurable. Some of the best service I've ever experienced. Though 10000yen for 3 peaches is way out on the outrageous side....(I've always wondered what a 10000 yen peach tastes like!). The mid/low end department stores such as AEON, however, are so painful to walk through.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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