When it comes to personal space, and all the obvious liberties and debaucheries that come with it, Japan‘s strict social codes make it a nation with awkwardly limited dimensions. Luckily, there’s the digital domain, and it’s here where especially the country’s younger generations ensconce to seek any kind of validation. Interestingly, more Japanese accessed internet from smartphones than PCs since 2017, arguably making the device more coveted than ever before. Apple has long dominated the Japanese mobile phone market with its nifty designs, giving both local and foreign brands a run for their money, including Samsung. But the Korean company doesn’t throw in the towel just like that, and is kicking of a new offensive spearheaded by its hugely popular Galaxy smartphone.
For cultural reasons, the brand ditched the name Samsung four years ago, presenting itself as Galaxy in the Japanese market instead. Aiming for a bigger market share, it’s now relaunching itself in the Land of the Rising Sun by opening a flagship store on Tue – Mar 12 in Harajuku, a highly popular shopping neighbourhood for specifically the millennial demographic in Tokyo. Aptly called Galaxy Harajuku, the store opening isn’t randomly planned, but coincides with the Galaxy smartphone’s tenth anniversary. Occupying a six floors of a modern structure alongside bustling Meiji Dori, it features a façade created by Japanese designer and artist Tokujin Yoshioka. The many settings in the retail space, designed by Shigeru Kubota, offers young shoppers a lifestyle experience by way of technology, entertainment, and last but certainly not least, heaps of Galaxy merchandise.
Upon entering, shoppers encounter a welcome counter and an event space with a large LED screen, set in a double-height space, and it’s here where Galaxy‘s latest smartphones are put on display. One floor up, a café can be found where to sit back and relax over coffee and sweet bites. Mind you, the place comes with an outdoor terrace, and there’s a kids lounge where little ones are tempted to interact with the Galaxy smartphone. The third floor presents an interactive exhibition corner that explores the history of Galaxy products, presents brand-related stories, but also puts the brand’s activities in the spotlight as global partner of Tokyo‘s hotly anticipated 2020 Summer Olympics.
Obviously, more Galaxy products are put on display here, presented in a specially designed hi-tech setting to emphasize the brand’s innovative character. The upper floors of Galaxy Harajuku present a string of interactive installations where to explore Galaxy‘s latest smartphone features and techniques, including an entire floor dotted with booths and popular video games that utilize cameras and VR attractions. Additionally, the store boasts a dedicated customer service desk in the basement section which offers a repair service and produces of original smartphone cases along the way.
Designed by Shigeru Kubota
Images © Galaxy