Tokyo - On September 17, Mie Project opened the doors to their first store branded under the name CHOOSEE (http://www.choosee.com). But this won't be just another specialty food store in the trendy Omotosando neighbourhood of Tokyo.
To begin with, the store will occupy part of the office space of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon (SSF - http://www.ssftokyo.co.jp/). SSF is well known in Japan for some breakthrough and unusual campaigns over the years (VW's Love & Hate, Cartier's LOVE and more recently Electrolux's Café Scandinavia and Citi Card's Itarery & Tsukusery), but co-launching a concept food store is a definite first for the agency. Secondly, this is the first time that premium food importer Mie Project http://www.mieproject.com/ will offer the company's whole range of 200 packaged organic food and drinks from over 20 international suppliers in their own retail environment. Over time, they even plan to find ways to link with locally grown organic fresh produce.
"Mie Project has been keen to set up a pilot shop to enable direct contact with consumers and accelerate awareness and trial for our brands and product range," says Duco Delgorge, President of Mie Project. "I also believe this is an excellent way to support our retail customers because it builds awareness of our products that can be purchased at all the other shops. Mie Project is delighted to partner with an advertising agency which recognizes the future of sustainable and ethical food retailing."
So why is an advertising agency partnering with a food importer to launch a pilot store? Phillip Rubel, Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon's CEO, explains their interest: "There is no better way to understand ever-evolving consumer preferences and behavior than to actually have an operating store within our midst. Sustainable, ethical, organic and premium represents the cutting edge themes of consumer food products shopping in Japan as well as other countries. We plan to use the store to cultivate in-store retail learning and gain insight into consumer behavior," says Rubel. "Besides, we also believe in the products and the approach Mie Project has taken and welcome the opportunity to support them. Sustainability strategy and marketing is part of the DNA of the agency on a global basis through our Saatchi & Saatchi S business unit. The Choosee pilot store will be a living shopper marketing laboratory for the agency."