Why are vending machines everywhere in Japan?

Why are vending machines everywhere in Japan?

The popularity of vending machines in Japan and the variety of new sales types are surprising, which is inseparable from Japan's special national conditions.

It is not difficult for friends who came to Tokyo, Japan for the first time to find: in any street, there must be a ubiquitous thing at the end of the street - a vending machine. Since the first vending machine in Japan appeared in 1888, the functions of vending machines and the types of goods sold have been continuously improved. It can be said that vending machines have been integrated into Japanese life. They can be found in almost every corner of the city, and even in the wilderness. There are only places you can't think of, no places it can't be placed.

Not only that, but the variety of types that vending machines sell is amazing! The most common are beverages, in addition to cigarettes, candy, cooked food, rice, glasses, etc., as well as newspapers, magazines, umbrellas, flowers, condoms, fruits, underwear, souvenirs, making and selling business cards, etc. More than 6000 items.


So why are there so many vending machines in Japan? This has to be combined with Japan's national conditions.

1. High labor costs

Japan's birth rate continues to decline and the population is aging, resulting in a scarcity of labor and rising labor costs. Robert Parry, an economics lecturer at Kobe University in Japan, pointed to high labor costs as one of the reasons Japanese retailers embraced vending machines so enthusiastically in 1998.

2. High population density and expensive real estate

Japan has a population of about 127 million people, and the country is about the size of California in the United States, but 75% is made up of mountainous areas that are not very inhabitable, which leads to 93% of Japanese people living in cities, making it the world's largest population density one of the highest countries.

High population densities have fueled decades of rising property prices in Japan, and most Japanese urban residents live in cramped and expensive apartments, which means Japanese people don't have enough space to store consumer goods, such as warehouses. Japanese companies would rather stick a vending machine on the street than open a retail store.

3. Today's society

Unlike China, which has been dominated by mobile payments in the past two years, Japanese consumers are more conservative and rely only on cash. While the average adult in Japan holds four to five credit cards, cash payments still account for more than half of all spending in the country. In Tokyo, credit cards are not allowed to buy tickets at subway stations, and many chain stores do not have credit card payment methods, only cash

In Japan, you can only carry a lot of cash, and after buying something, you have a pile of coins in your pocket. Coins are precisely the best way to spend at vending machines. Toss in a few coins and you can buy a cup of coffee or a bag of snacks at your fingertips, and it can also lighten the load in your pocket.

4. Obsessed and even obsessed with automation and robots, trying to automate everything that can be automated.

For example, some ramen restaurants order food on the machine and pay for it; the door of the taxi is automatically opened and closed. But despite this, craftsmanship is very popular in Japan.


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