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On April 1, Vodafone Japan opened its 5-floor, 890-square-meter flagship megastore in Shibuya and we were there to cover the event and take a peak at some of the goodies on hand. Japan Wireless Watchers will know that Shibuya makes or breaks fashions for Japan’s youth market, and i-mode is commonly said to have been popularized in Shibuya. For Vodafone, the new store is part of a public relations blitz to complete the rebranding of J-Phone amongst Japan’s vital teens and tweens market ahead of a big 3G terminal push later in the year. We were a bit disappointed that Vodafone didn’t have anything really new on offer in terms of new services or handsets to coincide with the big opening, but as a rebranding tool the store — located centrally on one of Shibuya’s main drags — is probably worth a thousand billboards. Full Program Run-time 6:04
Just yesterday Vodafone K.K. announced Japan’s first TV/FM radio combi mobile phone, the V401T from Toshiba. While the carrier awaits a batch of new 3G handsets for its Japan and global 3G operations, they are doing everything possible to boost their public profile.
Excerpt from the Vodafone Press Release:
Vodafone K.K. announced that it will open Vodafone Nagoya on March 12 and Vodafone Shibuya in Tokyo on March 31 as new flagship stores to promote the Vodafone brand. The new Vodafone shops will feature spacious interiors with facilities that enable people to fully experience Vodafone-branded products and services such as the latest mobile handsets and Vodafone live! content.
The new outlets are designed to be fun spaces for both Vodafone customers and non-customers, regardless of whether they wish to sign up for contracts, upgrade handsets, or make account changes. Located along Bunkamura Street in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, Vodafone Shibuya will feature one of Japan’s largest mobile phone store shop spaces (total of 890m2) and a special floor devoted exclusively to showcasing Vodafone live! content, a first for Vodafone K.K. The Vodafone Hands-Sign Center, a shop located in the same Ward staffed with employees that can serve customers with hearing disabilities via sign language, will also move into the same location as Vodafone Shibuya.
– The Editors
Some sage advise when entering new turf; Stop, Look and Listen.. it’s also good to secure a local guide. Japan is the cradle of mobile civilization – we have been dedicated to this space since 2001 – trust our archives here offer some useful material.
Domestic activities continue to set the pace, and sharp players are looking at global markets. We have hard-earned industry expertise and trusted network of contacts with access to advanced intell. and potential deal flow. Need a lift.. Ok, buckle-up!