travel

The End of Gal Life As We Know It?

12:50 AM


Do you recognise this sign from a certain gal-haven?


The sign - cute Engrish and all - is from a cafe in Shibuya 109, a shopping centre needs no introduction.

(Ok, fine then!)

The reason I'm posting about it today is because of this article in the Japan Times.

It seems like most businesses in the world, 109 is suffering because of the economy.

The article makes the point that about one third of the shops change annually.

While this goes a long way to keeping things fresh, it must have some detrimental effects on customer loyalty and the willingness of individual shops to take risks.

Furthermore, foreign brands like H & M, Topshop and Forever21 are gaining ground.

Uniqlo, of course, is going from strength to strength.

I don't think 109 will close down, but just imagine if it did.

Would it be so bad?

There are more fashion options than ever before so I think we would see fewer girls cloning each other's styles.

Of course the sentimental and entertainment value of 109 would be a huge loss, but I think the owners of its shops realise that they are not so dominant as they once were.

I hope they see this as a sign to freshen themselves up creatively and possibly in terms of business choices.

However, we should all do our part by shopping at 109 more often to help them out of this financial problem.

Just in case! ;)

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13 comments

  1. I`m glad you brought attention to this article! It is definitely an interesting read, and even more it is interesting to contemplate what would happen if 109 ever went under...not that I think it will but it is fun to think of different scenarios :)

    I will be linking this in my Weekly Wrapup!

    Hana @ Finding Tokyo

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  2. Gosh, I would definitely make a bee-line to Shibuya 109 if I were ever in Tokyo! One day, one day!

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  3. I think a nice idea would be lowering their prices 8D I mean, I love lizlisa and I'd be okay with buying anything from them, but once I had a few thing I liked, I'd definetely keep buying cheaper clothes.

    It'd make sad to see 109 closing thought, it's too emblematic, even for non-gyaru girls!

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  4. lowering their prizes be a good idea! ♥♥
    But I doubt they close it, after all it's a HUGE fashion centre and they would lose more money on closing it than keeping it open! ♥

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  5. Thanks for sharing this interesting article. It goes to show no one is immune to the recession. Of course I would do my part as a consumer if I lived there! ;)

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  6. Argh! Don't say it, I don't want to think about that haha! I think Forever21 especially has some nice pieces that work into gal coordinates, but imagine if that was all there was too choose from? Your wardrobe would fall apart after just a few wears, and like you said there wouldn't be much variety.

    As long as gals can earn their money, they will spend it.

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  7. HANA - right, I don't think 109 will REALLY close down, but it's interesting food for thought. It keeps us on our toes. Thank for thinking my post is worth a place in your wrap up, I'm so flattered!

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  8. Winnie - well, you can justify it by saying that you need to help it stay open! Your shopping would be an act of charity really...

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  9. Sasa - I don't think the pricing is too bad. Of course brands like LizLisa do cost more, but a lot of 109 stuff if cheap (in terms of cost and quality!). But I'd certainly welcome a general lowering of prices!

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  10. Emmelie ♥ - I think so, I can't think what they would do with the building if they closed it down. Maybe a big international chain would buy it...more Starbucks???

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  11. Shop N' Chomp - Since you don't live here, I'll try and do my best in place of you! ;)

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  12. さらまり - Actually, I've never been in Forever21. There are no shops in my home country and it's not exciting enough for me to go there when I'm in Tokyo. I would like to see it some day though... Anyway, I take your point on the perils of limited choices. But the problem is, I think most people who buy gal clothing are the types to have part-time/low skilled jobs. Those are the kind of jobs that are hard to get now, so no shopping!

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  13. Thanks for sharing this interesting article. It goes to show no one is immune to the recession. Of course I would do my part as a consumer if I lived there! ;)

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