Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo high fashion concept store Dover Street Market to open on Singapore’s Dempsey Road

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Dover Street Market, an edgy fashion retail and concept store conceived by Comme des GarçonsRei Kawakubo, will be opening its first Singapore outlet in Dempsey.

Kawakubo’s conceptual multi-brand retail outlet will be setting up shop in the near future as COMO Lifestyle recently purchased two blocks from the Singapore Land Authority and Singapore Tourism Board. Based on the plan laid out in COMO’s bid for the location, the DSM outpost will be incorporated alongside a bevy of food and beverage establishments as a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant and bar, local Peranakan restaurant Candlenut and new COMO Cuisine concept will all be located on the site.

A timetable for an opening is currently unknown so stay tuned for further details as they become available.

Uniqlo to offer four-day work week to working mothers

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RocketNews 24:

It’s hard being a working mom, juggling the important yet difficult goals of providing both the financial and emotional support children need. But while having to look for a new job because of incompatible work and family demands is never pleasant, it’s still a more viable option than finding new kids, as clothing retailer Uniqlo knows all too well.

The company has been having trouble retaining female employees with children, with many citing the need for more flexibility in their work schedule as their reason for leaving the company. In response, Uniqlo has announced that this autumn it will be offering full-time employees the option of a four-day work week.

From its humble beginnings as a low-key provider of plain yet affordable clothing, Uniqlo has become one Japan’s highest-profile companies. It’s developed its own sense of style, and has been actively expanding to other countries.

As the company grows, though, it’s also reexamining how it does business, and its human resources department has come up with a plan to help make Uniqlo a more accommodating place for its female employees to work. In order to help its working mothers structure their lives in a way that helps them care for their children, the company will introduce a system in which full-time employees can opt for a four-day workweek instead of a five-day one.

Employees on the four-day system won’t see their total work hours change, as they’ll work 10-hour shifts instead of the eight-hour stretches of the five-day schedule. Their base pay will also remain unchanged.

But even if the total hours worked are the same, having a third day off every week means one less day of arranging for daycare service for children, as well as shuttling them to and from the facility. It’s also one less day of commuting, which would be a major time savings for people working in urban Japan, where a one-way trip to work of 60 minutes or more isn’t at all unusual.

The four-day schedule will be offered to a total of 10,000 store employees, or roughly one fifth of Uniqlo’s total workforce. While the system is primarily aimed at female employees, apparently some men will also be given the choice between the four and five-day format.

Uniqlo plans to introduce the four-day workweek option this October.

Things you won’t believe Chinese tourists are buying in Japan: drugstore edition

medicine 1

RocketNews 24:

Often when you visit another country, one thing on everyone’s to-do list is a little shopping. It’s always interesting to see what products a foreign country offers that you can’t find back home. It’s also weird and fun to see the products you are familiar with presented in a different way.

One of the main reasons Chinese tourists visit Japan is to shop. It’s not uncommon to see a Chinese visitor enter a store and drop the equivalent of hundreds of U.S. dollars – usually in cash – on seemingly everyday products like clothes or electronics, but in some cases store shelves are picked completely clean.

But what’s on these tourists’ shopping lists? Here are 11 “godly” pharmacy products that Chinese visitors simply have to buy when they visit Japan.

When thinking about your next vacation, you normally wouldn’t consider over the counter medicinal goods to be the purpose of your trip. That’s exactly the reason for many Chinese tourists, though, who come to Japan and line up in front of drugstores before they even open. These shoppers will buy a bunch of items in bulk and leave having spent on average 20-30,000 yen (US$160-240), with some big-time shoppers spending close to 50,000 yen at one drug store.

Can’t think of $200 worth of things to buy at a drugstore? Well, maybe you will after reading this list.

1. Eye drops

2. Anti-inflammatory medicine

3. Liquid bandages

4. Cooling patches

5. Headache medicine

6. Keratin softener

7. Cysteine medicine

8. Constipation medicine

9. Canker sore medicine

10. Feminine hygiene products

11. Throat lozenges/cough drops

It may seem strange for eye drops to be at the top of the list, but it’s not uncommon for Chinese people to carry them in their purse, back pocket or pencil case. When Chinese shoppers are asked why they buy these in Japan, they reportedly answer, “Chinese products don’t work at all, whereas Japanese items, especially painkillers, are really effective.”

We suppose it makes sense to stock up after all!

Another popular commodity is adhesive bandages/plasters, especially amongst women. They claim that Japanese plasters don’t come off when you are cooking or getting your hands wet, making them much more convenient. Adhesive bandages are also cheap and light, so they make for a good souvenir and can be bought in bulk.

▼ Or they want these super cute Band-Aids!

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Chinese shoppers’ comments that Japanese medicine is more effective might seem odd to expatriates living in Japan, since dosages for painkillers and other medicine are usually quite a bit lower than versions you can find in western countries. However, since China is much closer to Japan than the U.S., Chinese travelers looking to buy some non-prescription drugs will continue to flock to Japan, and around 10 million Chinese tourists are expected to visit Japan this year alone.

If you happen to be suffering from dry eyes while in Japan and pop into a store to find them all sold out of eye drops, now you know why. You may find yourself lining up before the stores open just to get some!

the POOL aoyama (Japan) x ION Audio Portable Turntable

Hiroshi Fujiwara’s concept store the POOL aoyama has collaborated with US-based electronics company ION Audio to present this stylish portable turntable device. Equipped with a built-in speaker for playback, iPad compatibility and a pitch control function, the small device is the perfect alternative to bulky home stereo set-ups.

Fujiwara, who recently opened a Tokyo-based pop-up store for the POOL aoyama, completes the device with stylish, all-black and minimalist packaging. Pick up the Pool aoyama x ION Audio Portable Turntable for around $212 USD if you’re in Japan or online here.

the POOL shinjuku
1/F Isetan Shinjuku
3-14-1 Shinjuku
Tokyo 160-0022
Japan

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Wu-Tang Clan x the POOL aoyama (Tokyo) Collection

DIGAWEL x Onitsuka Tiger Colorado Eighty-Five

Onitsuka Tiger, has chosen two designers from its native Japan to celebrate the 30 year anniversary model of the iconic Colorado Eighty-Five runner.

The vibrant colorways of the retro silhouette, originally released in 1985, have been put together in association with FACETASM and DIGAWEL (pictured above) and will be released exclusively at Dover Street Market Ginza. Sporting a white mesh base, DIGAWEL’s take on the Eighty-Five sports a grey outsole along with a cream-colored midsole and multicolored suede overlays across the entirety of the upper.

Look for the collaborative endeavor to hit DSMG on April 29.