Embroidery Services Fulfilling Customers' Wishes Custom embroidery socks in just 30 minutes!  

Tabio Co., Ltd.,  Kutsushitaya Kichijoji store An Hamasaki 

Kutsushitaya,” operated by Tabio Co., Ltd., utilizes Tajima embroidery machines to offer in-store embroidery services. Among the Kutsushitaya locations across Japan, the Kichijoji store stands out for its distinctive initiatives. What innovative ideas are they implementing at this store? We interviewed the store manager, An Hamasaki 

Operated by Tabio Co., Ltd., these specialty stores sell comfortable-wearing socks created with precision Japanese manufacturing techniques. The street-level Kichijoji store is a forerunner to the other stores as a flagship “OMO” store (details of OMO stores are explained below).  

Initiatives pursued as a flagship store

Purchase your socks at the store, specify the text and color for the embroidery, and receive your one-of-a-kind socks in just thirty minutes. The Kutsushitaya Kichijoji store is gaining attention for its appealing service. “Kutsushitaya was already installing embroidery machines at each store, but initially, we only embroidered the initial letters of customers’ names. When I came to the Kichijoji store, I introduced a service offering embroidery of words that customers desired. We are now receiving compliments from many customers,” says store manager Hamasaki. She has been collaborating with the store staff to expand the popularity of this service.   

The Kichijoji store, which opened in June 2022 (as a reopening of the previous Kichijoji store), serves as a street-level flagship store for Kutsushitaya in Tokyo. Tabio’s aim in opening the Kichijoji store was to establish it as an “OMO-type” flagship store. OMO stores integrate marketing strategies, bridging the gap between online and offline stores, and are characterized by a blend of web-based and physical store experiences. As part of this initiative, the Kichijoji Kutsushitaya features digital signage within the store. Using this signage to display popular products that are getting attention on SNS has increased opportunities to catch the customer’s eye and encourage purchases. In addition, the signage includes QR codes, making it easier to purchase products online. The shop is trying out various ways to link the store to the internet, exploring their potential an OMO store. 

Fans’ “oshikatsu” embroidery has become popularized on social media! 

To leverage the special characteristics of the OMO store, Manager Hamasaki and her team have focused on sharing information on social media platforms. Alongside the Kichijoji store’s account on X (formerly Twitter), each staff member also maintains an Instagram account.  

Through these accounts, they provide updates on products and announcements for campaigns.  

Ms. Hamasaki, for instance, had approximately 19,000 followers as of the end of 2023. “We can quickly create and announce our own campaigns in response to social media trends. This adaptability in our social media usage is another notable feature of this store.” 

The embroidery service plays a significant role in enhancing the appeal of the Kichijoji store. While it seems that most customers utilize the service for gifts, there are also many who order embroidery for their own socks. A popular request for embroidery revolves around “oshikatsu,” which refers to fans’ activities in support of their favorite artists and characters. Customers often come from far away to get items embroidered with these motifs. 

Another popular product, conceived by Ms. Hamasaki herself, is embroidered hand-held fans used to cheer on idol groups and singers. Describing herself as an “otaku” (nerd), she explains, “This idea came to me when I thought it would be cute to embroider the fans that I always use. I’m delighted that it’s receiving so much attention from followers all over the country.” 

Surprisingly, staff members other than Ms. Hamasaki are also working on original embroidery services using their own ideas, expanding the range of support, including using computers designing original fonts. Inspired by these initiatives at the Kichijoji store, other stores are also using embroidery services. 

Everyone enjoys using embroidery machine 

Although Ms. Hamasaki and the store staff had no experience using an embroidery machine, they honed their skills through trial and error. Says Ms. Hamasaki, “Little by little, we learned embroidering tips: ‘If you do such and such, the thread won’t break easily,’ and ‘If you do it this way, you can embroider more efficiently.’ Anyone can embroider beautifully once they get used to the machine. Tajima’s embroidery machines have numerous functions and can sew very fast, and it’s easy to express yourself freely. All the staff members are having a great time using the embroidery machine.” 

At the Kichijoji store, the embroidery machine is placed near the entrance, where it readily catches the customers’ eye. Some customers apparently become interested after seeing the machine working or hearing the sounds, and then they end up ordering embroidery service. Their embroidery orders are promptly completed right before their eyes. Being able to experience the process first-hand is an enjoyable feature that only in-store services can offer. 

Some people create a favorite pair of socks for themselves, while others give socks with a message to loved ones. Thanks to the service, more and more people are finding new ways to enjoy socks. “Adding embroidery allows us to increase the added value of the socks themselves. We hope many customers come to use our service.” 

The Kutsushitaya Kichijoji store has preceded other stores in introducing new services—and it has succeeded in this. Now how can they use these embroidery services to convey the appeal of socks? Expectations run high that Manager Hamasaki will meet this challenge. 

Tabio Co., Ltd. | Creating new value through embroidery. Producing one-of-a-kind socks, unique in all the world. 

In this discussion, Tajima Group representative Director Hidetoshi Kojima spoke with Katsuhiro Ochi,…

Tabio Nara Co., Ltd. | Introduction of the DG.NET embroidery solution creates new ways to enjoy embroidery!  

Tabio Nara Co., Ltd. is an affiliate of Tabio Corporation, which operates “Kutsushitaya” and “Tabio….