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Report<roomsLINK TAIPEI>2014/04/24

Nihao, Taipei! Rin crossing @ roomsLINK TAIPEI

From November 7th to 10th, 2013, Rin crossing participated in the exhibition “roomsLINK TAIPEI” (sponsored by H.P. France S.A.) at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei, a city that even within Asia has an especially high appreciation for and interest in Japanese culture. Rin crossing further publicized the beauty of Japan to the people of Taiwan through an exhibit of products from various participating manufacturers.
This is Rin crossing’s first overseas report.

Rin crossing is universal: Japanese products utilizing local resources

With a crowd of nearly 20,000 people, the exhibition bustled almost as though it were a night market, and we saw over 1000 visitors drop by the Rin crossing booth. Halfway through the event period, we had nearly run out of information pamphlets.

At the exhibit, Rin crossing established contacts with many different buyers, including one from Taiwan’s largest multiplex bookstore, Eslite, as well as buyers from independent shops in Shanghai, China, and Singapore. These buyers came seeking the well-designed, artistic, and unique Japanese products that Rin crossing supports. Some of these buyers expressed an interest in buying the whole “Rin crossing package” as it was presented at the exhibit, and it was apparent that Rin crossing has appeal that extends even overseas.

Manufactures on exhibit

AE HANDKERCHIEF CO.,LTD.; Inoue Inc.; Okamoto Shoten Co., Ltd.; Kimura Woodcraft Factory, Limited; KIMOTO GLASSWARE Co., Ltd.; KOSHO; KODO Co., Ltd.; C-Brain Co., Ltd.; Jogan Co., Ltd.;
takumi-suzukou Co.Ltd.; Ceramic Japan Co., Ltd.; Takezasado co.,ltd;
224porcelain; Duco Co., Ltd.; Nino Classical Tailored;
Hirota Garasu Co., Ltd.; Fujiki Denshiro Shoten Inc.;
Mimatsu Kougei Co., Ltd.; Miyama Co., Ltd.

In addition to buyers, many average consumers also visited the booth, providing amble opportunity to spread word of the test-marketing we were to conduct after the exhibition concluded.

We received more questions from consumers about the raw materials used than we did about the features of the products themselves, and because many Japanese products that utilize local resources are characterized by their very raw materials, it seemed as though these goods may be readily accepted by the Taiwanese market.

Indeed, the response of the market was palpable, and the organizer of the exhibition commented that sales during the exhibition period had exceeded all expectations.

Knowing the (surprisingly) unknown Taiwan

This exhibition provided not only a point of contact with buyers, but also an opportunity to receive feedback and evaluation of our products from real consumers. Understanding Taiwanese culture and lifestyle customs, some of which are surprisingly unknown, provides hints as to the process of product development and improvement for any manufacturer that hopes to find a market overseas. As a part of Rin crossing’s role as a supporter, we wish to share with our participating manufacturers the real visitor feedback given on the products in the exhibition.

We will share just some of that feedback here.

■Long wallets are for women?!

Due to Taiwan’s hot climate, Taiwanese men do not often wear jackets, resulting in two-fold wallets that fit in pants pockets being more common than long wallets. Long wallets are considered a feminine item.

■Coffee, not tea, in Taiwan?

Although Taiwan has a reputation for tung-ting tea, out on the town one will see a lot of freshly-brewed coffee from cafés and convenience stores. Apparently, Taiwanese coffee cultivated in Taiwan has been popular here in recent years, and many visitors to our exhibit picked up 224porcelain’s coffee dripper, with its unique design and functionality.

On the subject of Taiwanese cafés... supposedly the world’s first cat café was born in Taiwan.

■Though we were told handkerchiefs were unpopular...

Prior to the exhibition, we had heard that handkerchiefs in Taiwan are considered to be objects distributed at funerals (and hence associated with parting). We assumed therefore that there was no general demand for handkerchiefs. However, we learned that exactly because of this phenomenon “there are no cute handkerchiefs to be found in Taiwan,” and women absolutely loved the “cute” handkerchiefs from Takezasado co.

After the conclusion of the exhibition, we remained in Taiwan to conduct test-marketing research from November 14th to December 25th, 2013. We conducted our research at the Eslite Spectrum Songyan store, the largest multiplex super-bookstore operated by the largest Taiwanese bookstore chain, Eslite. This chain’s brand concept is the blending of lifestyle with culture and art. The store, which just opened in August of last year, is currently the most talked-about commercial establishment in Taiwan.

* roomsLINK TAIPEI is an exhibition sponsored by apparel brand H.P. France S.A. in Taipei. In addition to fashion, the goal of the exhibition is to bring together small- to medium-sized manufacturers and artisans that can blend with Taiwan’s distinctive culture, forming a new market in Taiwan. The “local industry sector” is an important target zone for the transmission of Japanese craftsmanship and Japanese culture.

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