A discreet black sign, concrete floors, industrial-style ceilings, wooden shelves filled with design toys and gourmet treats. This may sound like the minimal interior of an urban lifestyle store in some hip corner of Tokyo, but the reality is more surprising. It is, in fact, a new branch of one of Japan's most recognizable chains of convenience stores: FamilyMart (minus the neon lighting and the signature green sign).
The convenience store, complete with its design makeover, is one of 30-plus retail outlets that opened their doors Friday in the sleekly designed new development Shonan T-Site.
The complex is the second T-Site to be opened by Tsutaya, the country's biggest music, book and video company, which first turned heads three years ago with the launch of the concept in Daikanyama.