If you spend some time in Japan and look around the shops, you will see the vast amount of western products that are on sale. In Japan, we can buy western products very easily because there are shops that specialise in western products. There are not only just western clothes shops such as GAP, H&M and Forever21 but also shops that specialise in other goods.
The most popular western goods shop in Japan is called ‘PLAZA’ which sells a variety of western products which includes character goods, sweets, cosmetics and kitchen products. There are currently around 80 PLAZA outlets in Japan and the number is increasing every year.
Why Japanese consumers like western products?
1. Japanese people find western characters ‘kawaii’ = cute (even adults!).
Japanese people like to have cute characters in their bags, smartphone, stationery and so on. Some adults think that Japanese character goods are only for children but overseas characters such as Snoopy, Barbapapa, Smurf are suitable for adults!
2. Japanese people long for western life.
One reason may be that they cannot go on overseas trips regularly. Western countries are far from Japan and generally it is difficult for Japanese workers to get long holidays.
Our next article will explore this topic in more detail.