- Book Off
nihongo|Book Off|ブックオフコーポレーション|Bukku Ofu Kōporēshon (tyo|3313) is
Japan's largest chain of used bookstores. Founded in 1990, the company has had explosive success, expanding to 866 stores throughout Japan and eight overseas locations (as of August 2006). In addition to books, its chains also sell manga, CDs, DVDs and video games. The stores are distinguished by their large surface area, cleanliness and bright illumination, as well as the loud welcoming shouts of the staff that spread throughout the store each time a customer enters.
The large scale of the stores makes it reasonably likely that shoppers seeking widely-available books will be able to find what they are looking for, and browsing through books is encouraged. A typical scene at the stores is the rows of high-school students who read through entire series of
mangastanding quietly in the aisles. Another innovation cited for its success is the practice of shaving the edges off the pages of books using a special machine in order to make them appear newer. [Citation
title =Screen savers
newspaper =The Economist
date =May 24th 2007
url =http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9231860] By offering a wide selection of books that appear like new at reduced prices, Book Off has aggressively targeted conventional bookstore chains, which are unable to sell new books at a discount due to extensive regulation.
Book Off is frequently cited as a rare example of a
corporationthat was able to grow during the so-called "lost decade" of economic stagnationthat followed the collapse of the Japanese asset price bubblethrough its use of innovative business strategies. It expanded from merely used books to used second-hand merchandise through its Hard Off stores and to the video rental market through Tsutaya. Its dealings are extensively covered in the Japanese business press.
* [http://www.bookoff.co.jp/en/index.html Bookoff website] Bookoff's main English language website
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