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Luxury shopping in Japan; Intimidating or not? 「高級ショップは入りにくい!」その理由は?

Luxury shopping in japan Cartier on Omotesando






It’s a tale as old as time…anyone with an interest in fashion and shopping for the latest luxury brand has had to come to terms with how much they’ve really got in their pocket to spend.

I’m always have to work for what I buy. So shopping in a big luxury brand’s shop has never been less than intimidating, and having sales staff judge you for how you look is a part of life in my home-country of the US and…. most parts in the world, frankly. But Japan is…different. As a nation with mostly middle-class shoppers, feeling judged against the rich patrons of the world is probably a fairly new phenomenon.

As such, a huge part of the population (mostly young people) is getting more and more turned off by luxury shopping in Japan. When a person is old enough they start caring about what sales people think of them less and less. But when young people are in their formidable late teens or early 20s, having a bad impression in designer shops is something very hard to turn around. And thus, cheaper stores with an easy-going atmosphere are thriving.

Here at TFD we asked some sales people at high-end stores about the current atmosphere of young shoppers in Tokyo, and what they think of them. Finally, we talked to a Japanese girl in her early 20s about how she feels shopping for designer and luxury shopping in Japan these days.


Cartier on Omotesando at night. Photo: Forbes