The 38th International Exhibition for Shop Systems and Fixturing, JAPAN SHOP 2009, was held at East Halls 4 and 5 of Tokyo International Exhibition Center (TOKYO BIG SIGHT) from March 3 to 6, 2009. The show was held in conjunction with other five related shows at the same venue and time. The six shows as a whole attracted 236,740 visitors. JAPAN SHOP 2009 and ARCHITECTURE + CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS 2009, held side by side, attracted 142,467 visitors. Considering the spell of bad weather throughout the 4-day period, this figure suggested that there was an intense interest in JAPAN SHOP 2009. It is said that consumer spending comprises more than 55% of Japan's gross domestic product. Therefore, changes in consumer spending have an important effect on path of the economic cycle. In this context, it is indispensable for retailers to create more attractive commercial environments in order to pull in more customers. It seemed that the venue of JAPAN SHOP 2009, where a wide spectrum of latest products and technologies for stores were presented, was more bustling than it was in the past.
When looking at the exhibition in perspective, products and technologies designed to further reduce environmental burdens were most impressive. While quite a few exhibitors simply presented products using recyclable materials, some exhibitors showed specific recycling processes developed and used by them. As the reduction of consumption energy has become a common sense practice in society, the primary focus of exhibitors' interest has shifted from merely quantifying energy reduced to proposing attractive store designs with reduced energy consumption. Systems and technologies to change store designs depending on the season and promotional events attracted great attention. Among them was a lighting effect system using full-color LED, and display units allowing flexible, systematic presentations. It seemed that there was a great demand for store spaces that could keep abreast of changes in the market. This report discusses this trend by referring to specific examples.
JAPAN SHOP 2009
Sign Recycling System That Reduces Waste and Greenhouse Gases
Today it is quite usual for large retail stores to use large-sized fabric-covered signs or banners to advertise their new products or special events. In many cases, such a sign or banner is displayed on the facade or in the atrium of a large building. However, these signs and banners are difficult to recycle. Used large-sized fabric signs and banners are usually treated as industrial wastes and taken to landfills. SEIREN Co., Ltd. is well-known for the Viscotecs Print, a proprietary technology to print any pattern or design in full color on a fabric sign or banner. At JAPAN SHOP 2009, SEIREN attracted considerable attention with the Viscotecs Recycling Sheet and a comprehensive recycling system using this product.
This system is comprised of the processes of design, installation, collection, recycling and reuse. Used banners made of Viscotecs Recycling Sheet are collected, inspected and chemically treated by SEIREN. Then they are reused within the firm or recycled into polyester materials. This system promotes the recycling of used banners, and contributes to the reduction of wastes and greenhouse gasses. It is very likely that environment-conscious companies and retail stores show intense interest in SEIREN's Viscotecs Recycling Sheet.
"Viscotecs Recycling Sheet" by SEIREN
Impressing Consumers With Effective Use of Light, Images and Aroma
LED, as an innovative light source, was again a focus of attention at JAPAN SHOP 2009. The Mirai Toshi TOWERS, a welcome presentation at the entrance of the exhibition produced in cooperation with the Japan Visual Merchandising Association, also featured a LED lighting system that allowed a freedom of choice to control light colors. As the performance of LED devices has greatly improved, applications thereof have also become more sophisticated. In fact, some companies have already developed highly original products and systems using LED. Glas Platz from Germany is well-known for Powerglass, high-tech laminated glass with integrated LED devices. At JAPAN SHOP 2009, Glas Platz showcased the latest version of Powerglass. With invisible electrical circuit paths, it allows fascinating lighting effects, dots of lights floating in the air. The firms also presented a system to display various patterns and messages on the transparent glass. The new product and systems offer diverse design possibilities of LED as something more than a simple source of light. Glas Luce presented at the booth of Hamashin Glass Inc. was a unique combination of an image display system and glass. With a liquid-crystal display integrated into a half mirror, the system makes an image appear on the surface of the mirror. If the system is turned off, what you see is a normal mirror surface. As an ultimate image display system whose mechanical part is totally unnoticeable to the audience, it can be utilized in a wide variety of places such as beauty parlors, hotel bathrooms, exhibition facilities, and other facilities with minimalist interior designs. The "Aromatic Signage", a combination of Aroscent Multi (aroma diffuser) by @aroma and an image display system developed by NTT Communications, was a new digital signage system designed to impress consumers with fragrances that fit images and messages shown. JAPAN SHOP 2009 suggested that shop designs in the future would probably need to appeal to consumers' senses of smell and temperature as well.
"The Mirai Toshi TOWERS", a welcome presentation at the entrance of the exhibition produced in cooperation with the Japan Visual Merchandising Association
"Powerglass" by GLAS PLATZ from Germany
"Aromatic Signage" by @aroma
Flexible Display Systems That Help Keep Stores Alive
There were two new trends in display systems, that with low-profile designs to emphasize products displayed and that with great flexibility to deal with changing needs. Visplay, a modular system developed by VITRA in Switzerland and distributed in Japan by Okamura Corporation, was an example of the former. With "invisible design" as the basic design concept, all elements comprising the system, such as shelf boards and support brackets, can be easily moved. The system featured an innovative supporting systems and great stability. The highly sophisticated designs of supporting units and screws were also impressive. Tamatoshi Co., Ltd., presented a renewed model of HANGLINE 19, a long-selling modular display system, with supporting brackets with a more inconspicuous design. The system was designed to be as inconspicuous as possible. The system's flexibility allows different display designs at different times, and thus helps keep stores alive. The booth of Tamatoshi Co., Ltd., was designed by Toneriko Inc., an up-and-coming design firm. The presentation by Roland DG, emphasizing the importance of flexible customer services at stores, was also too good to miss. The company has a chain of Roland Creative Centers all over Japan. It reproduced a Creative Center at the venue of JAPAN SHOP 2009 and exhibited various services to help retailers make their original gift products, using a printer, cutting machine and carving machine. Sample gifts presented at the booth were beautiful with professional quality. The effective use of such services allows cost-effective, responsive marketing solutions. The carving machine to carve specific patterns or names on the surfaces of bottles, glasses and metal ware was particularly popular among visitors.
"Visplay" by OKAMURA CORPORATION
The booth of TAMATOSHI Co., Ltd., designed by TONERIKO Inc.,
The booth of ROLAND DG
New Trend in Materials for Building Stores
While many people were interested in cutting-edge digital technologies and equipment, new materials for building and decorating stores were also something we could not miss. The booth of Nakagawa Chemical Inc. was built using IROMIZU, a transparent sheet series in 42 color choices (12 hues in 3 different shades, and black and white in 3 different shades). Light coming through IROMIZU sheets in different colors made the space within the booth quite attractive. If you put IROMIZU sheets on the surfaces of transparent glasses, you can create colorful, delicate effects without impairing visibility and the passage of light. It could be used for a wide range of applications.
Sangetsu Co., Ltd. recently renewed its comprehensive catalog of wallcovering products for the first time in three years. The company exhibited wallpapers using traditional materials such as lacquer, plaster and diatomaceous earth. These wallpapers have some effects inherent to the materials used for them. For example, plaster wallpapers have antivirus effect and humidity control effect. Therefore, it is important to use these wallpapers in the right places. Sangetsu also showcased a luxurious wallpaper series featuring Swarovski crystal beads that attracted considerable attention. Wallpapers manufactured by Warlon Co., Ltd. are indispensable for creating original, Japanese-style store designs. The company added 7 new patterns to The Next Wa-fu wallpaper series. Both Sangetsu and Warlon seemed to be enthusiastic in helping retailers create quality store spaces by providing wallpapers using traditional materials. Yu-aizu's effort to apply the 400-year old Aizunuri lacquer painting technique to glass and metal surfaces was something to be remembered. If you want to lacquer something, its surface must be completely flat and smooth. At JAPAN SHOP 2009, Yu-aizu showcased a 4m x 8m lacquered panel finished with the traditional Aizunuri technique. In order to minimize expansion, contraction and distortion, an aluminum honeycomb board with a stable surface was used. It used to take about six months to finish a panel of this size. Today it takes only one month if its design is quite simple.
"IROMIZU " by NAKAGAWA CHEMICAL Inc.
The booth of SANGETSU Co., Ltd.
The booth of YU-AIZU
It is also notable that there were a number of systems and materials to improve invisible factors of store design such as temperature. PS Company Ltd.'s air conditioning system based on the principles of radiant heating and cooling allows natural, comfortable air conditioning with little circulation of air. Super Eco Cool presented by Super Industries Co., Ltd. helps lower the temperature and reduces dust by utilizing the heat absorbed by vaporized misted water. Lintec Corporation's HEATCUT, a highly transparent heat insulating film, allows the reduction of uncomfortable summer heat without impairing the passage of light.
With the participation of major manufacturers of large printers, JAPAN SHOP 2009 was also a useful opportunity for users to update printer-related information, and compare different printers from different manufacturers at the same venue. FUJIFILM Graphic Systems Co., Ltd. exhibited LUXEL JET UV350GTW, a new product that allows color printing on a transparent sheet or colored sheet by using white ink. Seiko I Infotech Inc. presented H-104S/H-74S that is capable of expressing natural, beautiful gradations of monochrome images and metallic tones by using Gray and Light Gray inks.
The booth of FUJIFILM GRAPHIC SYSTEMS Co., Ltd.
JAPAN SHOP 2010 will be held again at TOKYO BIG SIGHT from March 9 (Tuesday) to 12 (Friday), 2010. If you are interested in participating in the next show, please contact the following for further information:
JAPAN SHOP Overseas Contact Office
Tel. +81-3-3512-5670/Fax. +81-3-3512-5680