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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There used to be so many small toy stores here in Japan before Toys~R~Us. Their selection was never very big and their prices were crazy but they were pretty fun to look around. Then came T.R.U. which promised huge selections and as close to American prices as you could get, and for a while they held up that promise. The stores were packed to the ceiling with american and Japanese toys.
Flash forward a decade or so and now that they've put all the mom and pop toy stores out of business they get rid of all the toys and give us a lousy selection and not so great prices.
I was at one the other day and they seriously had like 50 of the same stuffed animal taking up place where there were dozens of toys previously. They've even stopped selling wrapping paper in favor of gift bags. Gift bags? Besides the color it's about as thoughtful of sticking the toy in a shopping bag.
Big corperations stink, even toy ones.
 

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Rube, I am so glad you brought up this subject. We all know that things like that would bnever happen in the good old USA, still Ma and Pa shops on every corner,Wally World and all the other BIG Box Stores, are only there to help the little store owners.
 

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Yeah... but... one of the plus-points of living in Japan was the fact that you could still find those Ma and Pa shops here and there. Akihabara is yet another example -- used to be a great place to find tech stuff but now that Yodobashi opened a mega-store there all you see on the streets are games, french maids, and rundown used stuff. The tiny parts booths are still there, but... for how much longer?

On a different but vaguely similar vein, I lament the shrinking of the selection of tech books in Kinokuniya. But, at the same time, I recognize that I'm part of the problem, having turned to Amazon for almost all my purchases over the last several years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does Amazon offer a big selection or now that they have put many stores out of business are they cutting their inventory?
 

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I am hopeful that this is just part of the economic cycle. At a certain point, the big stores will also fail and then people will revert to a more local economy. This already seems to be happening in the USA - "buy local" is now a big movement in many places. Hopefully it will continue.

Books on the other hand are a lost cause due to digital media taking over. Personally i don't mind - I don't see the point in making paper and taking up a lot of space, shipping in trucks, etc. just for paper books. I hope magazines and newspapers go digital completely - what a waste of paper. I think the kindle is a great innovation for the industry and maybe better for the environment.
 
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