Mar 17, 2017 | By Sidney Morgan-Petro
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A growing number of Tokyo stores are making shoppers feel like they’re part of a club while maximising brand exposure and engagement by offering lessons in everything from indigo dyeing to hill climbing. Here are three compelling examples of stores using education to engage..
Where: 6-31-15 Jingumae / 81 (0)3 3409 6507
What’s to learn? This store is part fitness studio, part “pre- and post-sports café”, part run station serving nearby Yoyogi park, part specialist shop space for Japanese activewear brand Mizuno. A spruce Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall-designed location, it offers a range of classes (both on- and off-premises) and is big on yoga but also offers “half-day fasting” and even singles events. Upcoming pick? Belly dancing (5th September).
Where? 6-15-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku / 81 (0)3 6433 5218
What’s to learn? The outdoors-wear giant’s sole dedicated children’s store in Japan offers workshop-style lessons in activities such as snow trekking and trail running both in-store and out in the countryside beyond Tokyo. Under the “Kids’ Nature School” title, classes are often led by professional athletes and accompanying parents are encouraged to get involved too, with the brand explaining the events are intended to deepen kids’ face-to-face communication with both their pint-sized peers and family alike. Upcoming pick? “Long Trail” for children and parents in Shin’etsu, Nagano Prefecture (29th-30th August).
Where: 1-28-10 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku / 81 (0)3 3980 6111
What’s to learn? Famed “creative life store” Tokyu Hands – AKA the only places in town selling Porter bags, DIY timber and “novelty” nurse uniforms under one roof – offers weekly hands-on lessons at its shops across Tokyo, in all manner of pursuits. The Ikebukuro branch gives attendees the chance to create from scratch a mini tote bag using prized, patina-rich oiled leather from Western Japan’s Himeji region. After six hours of tuition, it’s promised that even a novice will be able to create a one-off artisanal bag in the leather and thread combination of their choice. Upcoming pick? Keep checking the website – the vigilance is worthwhile.
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