[cue robot connection sound]
Uniqlo, Japan's rapidly growing clothing company, and Bic Camera, one of the country's largest electronics retailers, have come together to open a new store in Shinjuku. The name of this new store is BICQLO, and the concept for the store is...well...clothing and electronics brought together in one building. Kind of.
I managed to squeeze in the door at the grand opening of this strange mashup this morning, and it was there that I found the most random displays of products imaginable. On all of the store's 12 floors I found displays that merged clothing and electronics in the weirdest ways. T-shirts and cameras. T-shirts and operating systems. Laptop computers and puffy jackets. Power adapters and socks. And, as you'll see in our gallery, boxer briefs and alcohol.
For as crazy as it sounds, it works out to be sort of fun. They were pretty imaginative with how products were presented on the first few main floors. There were animated displays, staff members positioned to snap photos of customers, and some crazy discounts on cool stuff. Manequins wearing Uniqlo clothing posed with cameras and bicycles and whatnot. You can tell they had fun setting it all up.
Beyond the main three or four floors things seemed a bit more like a normal Japanese department store. There's only so many ways you can line up washing machines, I guess. Like any Uniqlo, everything from underwear to suit jackets were available. And like any Bic, everything from cameras to videogames could be found here. I found $50 iPhone 5 cases in the mobile phone section of the 1st basement floor, for example.
Getting back to the unholy union, even the store's theme music was mashed up. They took the annoying/repetitive Bic Camera jingle [warning: cannot unhear] and added an electronic backbone and some crazy vocals by famed anime theme song singer Ichiro Mizuki to make something pretty catchy. For a bit, anyway.
Some of the coolest products to come from this collaboration are the special Uniqlo T-Shirt releases that feature logos and art from popular electronics brands that Bic Camera would carry. Being a huge photography nerd, I bought all of the camera t-shirts to add to my existing collection.
Another cool promotion that I did not take part of used special capsule machines that were accessible to customers that spent over 7,000 yen in the store. The capsules contain tickets for prizes like laptops, cameras, appliances and more. Many people won huge prizes during my visit.
BICQLO is an odd concept, but judging from the thousands that I rubbed shoulders with today, I'm sure it's going to be successful. I can see the store being a popular tourist destination if nothing else. I definitely recommend visiting the store next time you find yourself in Tokyo.
Oh! There's even a videogame for the store, called Bicqlo Vader.
From other sites around the web