Location, location, location

It’s always amusing to see columnists writing about places they’ve obviously never been: Clash of the superstores / Yamada Denki enters Osaka’s competitive electronics market
Basically, it’s hype like this that led us to take a trip down there yesterday. The night before was Adam’s birthday/farewell party in Umeda, and we stayed the night at a cheap hotel located in the illegalalienwhore district. As we all had some electronics shopping to do (a cranial implant here, a bionic limb augmentation there, you know, standard DenDen cyberware stuff), we decided to check out the vaunted new Yamada Denki complex (hereafter referred to as “Labia 1” – hey, they asked for it).
We arrived before 11 in the morning, only to face a bustling horde. Of sales staff. The place was deserted, as in, there were twice as many staff members as customers, which made for a truly annoying experience. The floor staff followed us around and incessantly offered to help with anything (“You looking to purchase LAN cable?”) until we wandered into the next area – where the next sales specialist was waiting (“Choosing the right mousepad is a critical life decision…”). Jesus.
To be that deserted exactly one month after opening day, on a weekend no less, is not a good sign. I predict this place will close in a few years, after several key management changes and obscure restructurings of the point card system, never having reached any of its lofty goals. The problem? See the title of this post.
True, the complex is theoretically a three minute walk from Namba station. The thing is, it’s a three minute walk toward the middle of nowhere, past Namba Parks and the WINS betting complex (horse racing)… And ultimately, one can’t help but wonder if their business plan relies on impulse buys by people winning big on the ponies; gambling on the gamblers, so to speak. The ultimate proof I can offer to back up my prediction is the parking space I put my car in, the first level of the parking structure, right next to the store elevators, adjacent to ten other open spaces. Now try that at Yodobashi in Umeda.

2 Replies to “Location, location, location”

  1. I see your point. I want it to succeed though. Bic Camera is also more than a three minute journey from Namba station albeit in the direction of more shops instead of nowhere.
    I like it especially for the digital printing machines that spit out prints from your sd card like a baby being force-fed broccoli.
    As they`re new they also seem to be undercutting the other established electronics behemoths in Osaka which can only be a good thing I guess.

  2. Like the man said, location location location!!!
    The bar I work at in Nara is in the same situation. In the right area of Namba or Umeda,
    this bar would be packed everyday, but at least a
    15 minute walk from the nearest station in Nara’s
    metropolis has doomsday written for this bar I’m afraid. By the way Justin, this is my newly found
    internet access, so yoroshiku!

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