Mihoko Kasuga

Mihoko Kasuga

Manager, Softbank Harajuku store


Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on December 2007


How is the Harajuku store different from Roppongi, where you used to be the manager?
Almost 70 percent of customers in Roppongi are foreigners, whereas in Harajuku it is about 40 percent. Roppongi is smaller, with 16 counters, but here in Harajuku we have 70 counters.

Why did Softbank choose Harajuku?
Harajuku is really popular among both foreigners and Japanese, so many people pass by. Admittedly, most of them are on their way to clothing shops, but we are taking a proactive marketing approach to get people to come in, with posters, TV ads with Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt and Aya Ueto, as well as seasonal ads for Halloween and Christmas.

Do you get many complaints?
Sometimes, concerning advertising campaigns and money issues. That’s something we have to deal with. Customers have  shouted insults at the staff. After Roppongi, I’m used to it, but my staff freak out sometimes, especially when foreigners are swearing. I tell the customers to please calm down. Most people, once they sit down, are ready to talk calmly and logically.

What is a typical day for you?
I show up before 9am. The store is open from 10am until 10pm, so I usually go home after midnight. I often work Saturdays and Sundays.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Besides achieving our sales goals, it is seeing how good my staff have become. Seeing the smiles on their faces as they have developed their skills is satisfying because it was hard at first.

How did you get so good at English?
I traveled a lot. I have been to London, New York, LA, Australia and New Zealand. I basically just taught myself.