My favorite record store in Austin closed 15 years ago. If I want the Tower Records experience I have to go overseas.

When I visit Japan every couple of years or so, I can still drop by Tower Records in Shibuya and the Toys ”R” Us Japan headquarters in Kawasaki (where I was a consultant many years ago). Toys ”R” Us never shut down in Japan. Japan loves vintage ’American’ brands.

Struggling retail brands continue to find success in Japan where the population density swells in city centers usually near train stations. Thanks to a strong public transit system, the foot traffic is endless for stores which rely on customers to visit the old-fashioned way.

While shopping malls shrink in America due to the smartphone lifestyle, the Japanese remain loyal to big-box retailers making the effort to market themselves and provide ”omotenashi.”

If you enjoy classic rock, I recommend Phoenix where old bands keep strumming. If you love old school shopping experiences, visit Japan and think about opening a store there.

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