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Gundam Shop

posted on 2004-07-14 15:43 EDT
New Gundam Specialty Store largest of its kind in Japan

On July 10th, Joshin Electric opened a Gundam specialty store, called Gundam'S, in Osaka's Naniwa district. The store, which sells everything related to the popular anime property, is the largest store of its kind in Japan.

The Billboard that covers the store's fron side (image available here) features an 18 meter tall Gundam, while the top half of the store's side billboard features a Zakku2. Both images are reportedly to scale.

The two floor store features 330 square meters (3553 sq ft) of retail space. The first floor carries DVDs, software and other miscelaneous merchandise, while the second floor is dedicated to an extensive collection of model kits and related items.

The store was previosuly situaated nearby, but the previous location grew cramped so the owners decided tomove it onto the local main street and increase its retail area by nearly four times.

Asahi.com reports that the Naniwa district (where Gundam's is located) is rapidly turning into a Ankihabara like shopping area with specialty stores focussing on single areas of sales such as video games, manga, cosmetics, watches, or of course Gundam.

According to the credit researcher Teikoku Databank Ltd, the number of consumer electronics stores in the area decreased by almost 45% betweeen 1992 and 2003 (from 103 to 58), while the number specialty stores increased by 460% (from 5 to 28) in the same period.

The closings and failure of the general-electonics stores is attributed to their inability to compete with large chains from the Kanto region that have started to set up local outlets. The resulting vacancies have largely been fileld with specialty stores as business owners look for less competive markets that aren't focussed on by the larger chains.

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