If you are looking for products with a minimal and cutsey vibe at affordable prices head to South-East Asian retail stores that seem to follow the sastha, sundar aur tikao mantra. Shoppers in Bengaluru are far from satiated with the number of Japanese, Chinese and Korean stores we already have; leading to a widespread of new stores opening up.
A wide variety of products like plush animal themes backpacks, lunch boxes, skincare, Korean makeup, Pinterest worthy pillows, anime themes stationary, gadget, Instagram worthy tea-sets and vanity kits can be found at these stores. Shopaholics in the city are obsessed with these stores since they have ‘pop apparels’ of different products.
“I love the Japanese stores in particular since all their products have a pastel and classy look. I have purchased flip-flops, dairy’s, wallets, make-up and skincare products. They’ve all lasted for long, which is surprising for the price I have paid for them. I paid Rs 250 for my flip-flop six months ago; I still use them”, says Rishika Jain, a shopaholic from Bengaluru.
These stores have built their brand name through the ‘word of mouth’ strategies, which has now become a trend. Deepali Harish, a college student speaks about how she got tempted to shop at a Korean store after she saw her friend’s water-bottle purchased from the same store. “Their water bottles are transparent with super cute glittery stars on them at the base. It even has a straw holder sort of thing. My friend paid Rs 200 for it and after I saw her using that bottle, I just couldn’t resist, I immediately went to check it out. It’s now on my shopping list”, she says.
Across the city, you will happen to encounter at least one such Asian store in every shopping locality. In 2017, there were only two such South-East Asian stores and today, there are around 30, all over Bengaluru. The products sold at these stores vary from Rs 70 to Rs 2000 depending on what you want, the quality you are looking at and the store you are in.
Suni Mia, a salesperson at one o the renowned south-East Asian store says, “The highest demand is for perfumes and bags at our store. Chinese perfumes are known to have lighter scents that longer and the bags come in different shapes and sizes with cute graffiti’s and designs that can be used for multiple occasions.”
In order to meet with the rising demands, these stores have now entered the e-commerce platform. They now have websites where they take orders, at an even more discounted price. “I have gone to one of these shops a few times. My sister, my friends, my girlfriends are all obsessed with the products from there,” says Sidharth Katariya, an employee at a stock company. Talking about why his friends are obsessed with these stores, he says, “The trend itself is like that I guess. Everyone is done with buying fancy stuff now. It’s about small and classy looking things and these shops offer exactly that. Guys like me who go shopping often for women, find it the best. It’s so cheap.”