The right platform for selling to women on the go

October 21st, 2009 by Mio Yamada

Even though Tokyo Metro tried to stop women putting on makeup while riding trains with an ad campaign, it seems that everywhere else on Tokyo’s public transport system, women are being encouraged to indulge in a little personal care. Stores that have popped up in stations include: Ranking-Ranqueen, which, among other things, offers a wide range of best-selling toiletries, cosmetics and skincare products;  Fancl, a preservative-free skincare range; and, more recently, Plazastyle’s cosmetics-focused Beautilicious in the Echika shopping complex inside Ikebukero Station.

They must be proving successful merchandising spots, since Kiehls, a popular U.S. skincare brand, previously only available in a few select department stores, has also decided to open its Japan flagship store inside Shibuya Station (next to Fancl no less).

However, definitely the most interesting of these stores catering to women on the move has to be Cosme Store Switch, which is the first personal-care product store to actually be located on a station platform. Cosme has already introduced various innovative marketing ideas to personal-care product sales including free samples in stores, an online members ranking system and the effective use of kuchikomi (word-of-mouth) techniques. Cosme Store Switch is not only the first platform booth of this kind, selling cosmetics, personal-care products and healthy drinks and snacks, but it also has giant TV screens advertising its wares, a cosmetics vending machine and a tiny powder room with fully lit mirrors, all previously unseen on platforms.

Miss Metro Manners might be asking women to “Please do it at home,” but the stationmasters are clearly saying, “Please shop for it here.”

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