Saturday, 15 September 2007


Well, well... It seems I'm back in Japanese sim territory again. I read about the arrival of this sim a couple of months back, but had entirely forgotten to check it out until I stumbled on it by accident last night. The sim? Mitsukoshi.

To borrow from a description I found at "Mitsukoshi is the oldest department store in Japan. It is now a vast emporium, but started its life as a kimono outlet in 1673, known as Echigoya. Gradually, the store's stock grew to include daily necessities and gifts. By the 1960s Mitsukoshi had grown up into the best-stocked and most prestigious department store in Asia, with the most polite and helpful staff, earning the title "The Harrods of Tokyo". It's still a great place to buy kimonos too." There is a chain of shops not just in Japan, but across the world - and now in the virtual world of Second Life, too.

The island is effectively in 2 levels. The ground level looks like a recreation of their roots back in the 17th century. A large store in traditional Japanese style, where you can pick up free kimonos and hats, set amid a number of smaller stalls. At the back of the sim, opposite your arrival point, is a lift (or teleport if you'd rather travel quickly) that will take you up to the second level. High above the sim is an ultra-modern (nay, hyper-modern) Mitsukoshi store, comprising a set of pods - one per department. if you don't fancy the return trip by lift or teleport you can instead opt to glide down, by rezzing a paraglider at the far end of any of the department pods.

I rather like this sim - especially the recreation of 17th Century Edo - and the freebie kimonos and hapi are finely detailed. However, I am struggling to see how they can hit their supposed target of 120,000 visitors spending 40million (real) Yen in the first year. The site serves as a portal to their website, where you can part with real money, rather than muck about with L$. Fine - but I think they are being way too ambitious. I'm not sure how they plan to measure traffic driven to their website from Second Life, but I'm sure some e-commerce whizz can tell me.

Oh.. on my researches I found this rather fine post about this sim too.

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