Friday, October 7, 2011

Won't Miss #374 - Seiyu

Seiyu is a chain of supermarkets with branches in most major areas of Tokyo. I can't speak for all Seiyu supermarkets in Japan, but I can speak for the one nearest me. In fact, if it weren't one of the cheaper places to get certain types of food, I'd avoid it. I'm too poor, however, to walk away from the prices, but there are things about it that annoy me. One of the things is that our particular market has the beeping noise on the scanners set at an ear-splitting volume. Every item you buy is a wince of aural pain as it makes a high-pitched noise. Another issue is that their anti-theft system is to have two different types of baskets for items that have been paid for and items that you are carrying around for future purchase. The need for this system is proof, incidentally, that Japanese people do indeed shoplift despite the propaganda that they are too virtuous to pilfer. My guess is that people were simply walking out with unpaid for goods and using old receipts to fake having paid. The problem with the baskets is that the grey ones, which are slightly smaller and for goods you haven't bought yet, are near the exit and bagging areas. The yellow ones, which are smaller and for paid goods, are only near the cashiers (as they have to transfer from grey to yellow at check-out). Unless you turn back and go to the cashier specifically, you can't put your basket away because they won't stack with the grey ones near departing customers. They don't put stacks of yellow ones by the door because they don't trust the customers not to just pick them up on the way in.

I won't miss shopping at Seiyu, and how the experience is designed for their comfort, convenience, and protection rather than the customer's experience.