I just got back from the (10-month-old) grocery store across the street. Its opening was a long awaited event after a long-standing discount electronics store closed and the building’s owner spent an entire year revamping the location and gathering new tenants. A gym opened on the 1st and 2nd floor, and an internet-cafe-amusement-hobby-“something” opened on the 3rd floor. The other part of the first floor was for the grocery strore. It’s a famous and well-loved brand name, specializing in import goods and wine. This station can easily support such a specialty shop, and many of our students shop there. We go nearly every day!
Today, however, quite conspicuously, there were empty shelves aplenty. So many that I asked the cashier about it. I was shocked to hear they are closing down 10 days from now.
This isn’t anything new, of course. In our 7 years in Azamino, we have watched our favorite curry shop, 2 drugstores, 2 video rental shops, 3 hair salons, a giant electronics store, and an ice cream shop close their doors permanently, as well as several other stores in a small “mall” that just keep rotating like a revolving door. One would think the economy was slumping.
On the contrary. Things are doing well here in Japan. Perhaps it’s because of this fact that shops are able to open up in those spots almost immediately after something closes. But it does beg the question, “Why do they have to close?”
I don’t have the answers to that question. But I do know this: WE, Smith’s School of English Azamino, ARE STILL HERE, AND GOING STRONG, AFTER 3 YEARS!
The Smith’s system and support, mixed with a very high level of care and service by myself and my husband, Mike, towards our students and our school, have enabled us to outlast even a couple of very high-profile businesses! Not only have we outlasted them, but we continue to do well and grow, month after month, year after year. I am eternally grateful, both to our loyal and truly fabulous students, and also to Smith’s head office, Mark Smith in particular.
It’s a simple business. But a very good one that adds to our community. Thank you everyone!