Posts Tagged Walmart

June 17, 2017 part 2 – Seiyu is WAY different now

This afternoon we decided to go to Seiyu to pick up a few things, most notably a new hat for Tiny Dog (TD) after his awesome Domo-kun hat was lost at Haneda airport, and some toys to keep him occupied at the house.

For a little background, in 2002 Walmart acquired a majority stake in Seiyu, a Japanese department store company. In 2003 they opened their first big box, Walmart style store in Numazu.

I lived in Numazu from 2004 – 2006 about 5 minutes away from the big box Seiyu on foot. It was incredibly convenient to be able to buy groceries and pretty much anything else 24 hours a day.

Overall, Walmart’s expansion in Japan has not been a success. There are a lot of very good articles explaining the reasons, but long story short Walmart was trying to provide something that people didn’t want.

Sometime since our last visit to Japan, Seiyu Numazu got a pretty serious remodel. The groceries were still there, but the housewares and most importantly the toys were all gone, replaced by a new clothing store and a 100 yen shop. We didn’t know this before we left, and had promised TD some new toys. That was a mistake.

There are few things on planet Earth more persistent than a 3 year old who has been promised something fun but has not received it yet. After a few laps around the store, we decided to occupy him with the huge selection of Gatcha machines near the store entrance. Gatcha machines are the ones with cheap toys inside little plastic capsules.

The cheap toys he got were fun, but not nearly as fun as putting money into the machines and turning the handle.

Lessons learned: things change when you are away for a few years, and never promise something to a kid unless you can get it to them in a reasonable period of time.

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December 26, 2004 – Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day!

For those unaware, Boxing Day is the name given to December 26 in British Commonwealth countries. In Canada, it is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Stores are usually open for reduced hours, and many offer big discounts or door crasher sales.

I didn’t line up early for any of the insane deals, but I did go to WalMart with my family to see the regular boxing day sales. The store was overcrowded and it took forever to get through the lines. Everyone was paying with plastic, and the machines were very slow.

Unless you are a die hard shopper, I recommend against shopping on Boxing Day.


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Return to Japan 2013 – July 5 preparation

Work has been incredibly busy lately. As my company approaches fiscal year end, the work has begun coming in faster than it is going out. Selling my boss on a 2 week vacation during a busy time would have been difficult if the trip was not family related.

My wife is Japanese, and an only child. She has been living in Canada for about 7 years now. As her parents get older, this is becoming a bit of a challenge. We try to go back to visit about every second year. Our original plan was to go right after Christmas in order to be in Japan for New Years, which is the big family holiday in Japan. This also works out better with the weather and my work schedule. However, this year The Mother in Law really needed some time with her daughter, so we decided to do our visit in the summer.

The Wife does not work on Fridays, so first thing in the morning I dropped her off at the airport, one day earlier than my departure. My plans for the day included working, dropping off keys with my sister, buying souvenirs for 2 people, buying new sandals, packing everything and taking out the garbage to avoid it marinating in the heat of an empty house for 2 weeks.

I work for the Canadian branch of a giant multinational company. Our office does not have an abundance of employees, so I do several different jobs and don’t have a specific person that covers my desk when I am away. Getting ready for a long vacation requires doing twice as much work before I can leave the office, and about twice as much on the week I return. For this reason I ended up working overtime.

After work I went home, with grand plans of a quick dinner and en immediately leaving to get my shopping done. Afterwards I would pack quickly and get to bed by 11.

Then the Internet happened.

It was one of those “let me just check one site” Internet experiences that turned into a level 5 procrastination session.

I pried myself away from the computer just  before 9. First stop was the liquor mart to get some Fort Garry beer and Ice Wine as souvenirs. After that I stopped at Walmart for sandals and some Mrs Vickie’s chips, and ended up picking up a few more bottles of maple syrup. When traveling to Japan you can never bring enough maple syrup. No trip to Walmart can be done quickly, so I ended up back at home around 10:30 to start packing. I ended up getting to sleep around 12:30 with the alarm set for 5:00am.

Stupid entertaining Internet.

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