In collaboration with EuroShop, the dlv – Netzwerk Ladenbau e.V. shopfitters and suppliers network organizes a tour to a major city of the world once a year. Tour participants visit trendsetting locations that captivate with unique store designs. After previous trips to New York, London, and Las Vegas, the dlv delegation explored the megacity of Tokyo during their fourth tour.
From August 29 to September 1, 2018, the participants explored major luxury shopping areas like Chuo Street in the Ginza area, the upscale tree-lined Omotesando shopping street, the wealthy design neighborhood of Aoyama, the bustling yet cool Shibuya commercial and business center, and the hip Laforet shopping mall for young fashionistas.
Store design and retail architecture weren’t the group’s only focus. The use of digital signage, materials, cross-channel concepts, visual merchandising, and sustainability also took center stage.
Juxtaposition of luxury and ease
Tokyo features both new and traditional malls and innovative retailers. Purist aesthetics and high-tech culture blend with centuries-old traditions and Japanese exoticism. Spectacular architecture meets ancient shrines and temples.
Tokyo’s Magnificent Mile Chuo-Dori Street in Ginza has been among the exclusive circle of the ten most expensive shopping streets in the world for years. Its latest architectural gem is GSIX. After its opening in April 2017, 1.5 million visitors came within the first 18 days to marvel at the new temple of luxury, stop by the Dior Café or relax on the rooftop garden. Next to famous designer labels like Valentino, Céline or Chloé, Japanese fashion designers like Issey Miyake and Kenzo are also part of the scene.
On the fourth floor, Japanese makers showcase their high-quality goods, an homage to Japanese craftsmanship, which enjoys high status in Japanese society.
Completed in March 2017, Tokyo Midtown is a mix-used development in the Akasaka area. Aside from offices and apartments, the six buildings also boast lots of shops and restaurants.
Perhaps the biggest difference – as perceived by the participants of the tour – between Tokyo and our local settings is customer service. While the retail sector is thinking of ways to advance digitization in stores and offering many self-service options for customers, the Japanese are also enthusiastic service providers and are attending to their guests with enormous joy and seemingly endless patience. Even small stores often have four shop assistants ready to help, projecting a tone of friendliness that is second to none.
Angela Krause from dlv sums up the experiences of the Tour 2018: “Tokyo is a great city. The Japanese sense of tradition, the unsurpassed service in shops and restaurants, the cleanliness and good infrastructure on the one hand, the fashion craziness of the young Japanese, the noisy casualness of trendy districts like Shibuya and the love for modern design on the other hand turn Tokyo into a unique city. Most of the participants of the dlv tour were in Tokyo for the first time and returned as enthusiastic fans.”
Source: dlv – Netzwerk Ladenbau e.V., edited by Julia Pott for EuroShop.mag