1. The unchanging scenery
In 1966, Goro Takahashi opened his first store, “goro’s” in Central Aoyama by Killer Street, a shopping street in the Aoyama district. He then relocated his store to Harajuku in 1972. The owner of the fashion brand GRASS, Akimitsu Yamada, offered Goro to open a store in the same building. Only a few stores in Harajuku, including goro’s, have continued to operate without relocating since 1973. goro’s has remained unchanged, with the interior and merchandise all made by Goro’s hands. The scenery of Harajuku has never changed.
Ever since goro’s opened its Harajuku store and began making silver jewelry, it has been plagued by a problem: shoplifting. Goro is a genuinely pure and straightforward person, he does not know how to doubt people. Also, he gets absorbed in explaining his items when serving the customers in the store. Hence, he began to lock the store door and serve each customer individually. This was the beginning of the goro’s style of customer service that continues to this day.
Eventually, a queue would form along the guardrail in front of the store. One day in the winter of 1991, Goro sat down on the guardrail and was surprised at how cold it was. So Goro decided to install a log bench, which has warmth as a material.
“When I went downstairs after working on a winter day, it was freezing cold. In such weather, everyone would sit on the guardrail and wait for me. So one day, I asked my friends to transport a 9-meter long log from Shinshu (currently known as Nagano Prefecture) and lay it by the pedestrian walkway. I also brought in a truckload of snow and covered the area. After that, people gradually gathered around and played in the snow, forgetting about the cold. I was happy that the customers enjoyed it as well.”
The queue of customers sitting on the logs and waiting for their turn to enter the store became a new Harajuku landmark, an iconic scene that continued until the log bench was towed away in 2002.
Even in this age of the Internet, goro’s still insists on providing face-to-face sales. You would have to queue in line and win a lottery to enter the store. Even though you can enter the store, you cannot purchase the desired item. You must keep revisiting and building a good relationship with the staff to buy the items you want. For example, it is said that it takes 10 years to purchase an Eagle Pendant.
The staff carefully preserves the spirit of Goro Takahashi that resides in goro’s products.
DELTAone created the article contents from the following references.
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