Not only in Europe and the Americas has the increase in huge department stores caused problems to smaller local stores, but also in Japan. The traditional Yaoya grocery stores, which could be found on every major shopping street, are slowly disappearing.
The store owners were distinct in a way that they always had a good relationship with local farmers and knew everything there was to know about the fresh products that they kept in stock. They added to the character of a street and shifted their emphasis from the store’s design to the quality of the products.
There is, however, light on the horizon thanks to Vegeo Vegeco. The company started up online, selling and delivering fresh fruit and veggies that were grown on Kyushu, a warmer island in the south of Japan. Since the beginning of this year, they are also running a store in the Nezu neighborhood of Tokyo, which is seen as a hommage to the good old days of the traditional Yaoya grocers.
The store features a clean, minimalistic design and again, the focus lies entirely on the products. In line with the opening of this store, the company has also recently launched a food delivery service, that could potentially compete with Uber Eats and Amazon Fresh.
Both Vegeo Vegeco’s store and delivery services are gaining popularity in Tokyo, which is hopefully signaling the comebacks of other local corner stores and grocers as well.