Large Chain Stores

I often go to this home improvement center to buy garden tools and fertilizer for vegetables on the weekends.
As you can see these photos, the center has a large area which offers gardening goods, furniture, kitchen materials and car parts.
Besides you can buy beer, vegetables, snacks and rice at this center
There are also McDonald’s and Starbucks in the same area.
You can finish your shopping in just one place.
Sure it is very convenient and I need these shops but I feel a kind of strangeness.

This center is full of chain stores like IKEA, Costco and Carrefour.
(Carrefour has pulled out of Japan.)
So there are many of the same centers in the Saiama, Chiba, Kanagawa next to Tokyo.

Actually if you were blindfolded and taken somewhere, you couldn’t find out where you were because the cityscape looks alike everywhere.
I heard that this also happened in the US and other countries.

If a city wants to keep its character, it should not attract chain stores even if it becomes inconvienient.
If the government restores the Tohoku affected area, I hope that the unique and advanced town will be built.

Globalism means that every thing is unified but localism is the opposite.

I’ll write about local affair and things next some posts. 🙂


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I live in Kawagoe-city Saitama-prefecture Japan. There are many traditional warehouses in Kawagoe. So many Japanese and the people from overseas come to sightseeing.

24 thoughts on “Large Chain Stores”

  1. on the other hand, my daughter, you know she is an architect, likes to restore old castles; nevertheless she built also some malls in big cities (Zurich for example).

  2. big chains provides convenience but of course, they are stripping the local personality of the place.

    A harmony between the two would be ideal.

    1. Old small shops decreased dramatically due to a large chain store. The power of capitalism is very strong. The way to come true ideal is needed.

  3. In the US some companies are having to scale back form the Super Store concept because there are just too many of them. With the downturn in the economy they cannot all be supported.

  4. カインズホームというホームセンター、初めて聞きました。

    Clone townという英単語はたぶんご存じだと思いますが。

    1. Clone town というのは、知りませんでした。なんか、映画、マトリックスにでてきそうな、不気味な言葉ですね。

  5. Clown town !  初めて聞きました。 納得です。 ほんとですね、どこに行っても同じ街並みは実につまらないですね。同じものが手に入る安心感はありますが・・・。 東北地方の街づくり、こんな私でも心配です。

    1. 東北の復興は、高台に作ってネットワーク化したり、高い防波堤を作った上に作るとかいくつか案がでているそうです。先進モデル都市にして、他都市の先駆けになってほしいですね。

    1. Red, yellow cars are not popular in Japan. You can’t sell these used cars high price than grey, black cars.
      It may be strange but so far I didn’t think it strange.

  6. I can relate or I should say we can all relate because superstores are spreading all over the world. Yes, they offer variety and discount pricing, and yes, they kill off the local competition and character of an area… which is really sad. 😦
    It is a balancing act and sometimes I wonder how we can make it all work. 🙂

  7. Except for the Japanese writing on the store in the 2nd photo, I would think I was “anywhere USA”. I think maybe there’s a comfort to that when people travel, they can shop somewhere familiar, but I agree, when I visit a different place I want to see something unique.

  8. Very true. I have gone to chain stores in other cities and saw nothing to indicate I was not back home. That’s why I prefer trying new places when I travel.

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