We witness the opening of South East Asia's first AKB48 shop15 May, 2011 by Chad
The AKB48 Singapore Shop opened its doors for the first time yesterday on Saturday, 14th May 2011. Iwasa Misaki, Komori Mika and Miyazaki Miho, three members of the popular Japanese idol group, AKB48 flew down one day ahead of their peers to welcome the hundreds of fans who came down to meet their idols.
This event marks the launch of AKB48’s second shop outside of Japan and the first ever in South East Asia. It is just one part of the AKB48 Singapore Project that also consists of the AKB48 Singapore Theater (that opens today) and an AKB48 Singapore Cafe that will begin business in June.
As announced last week, the three members from AKB48 were invited to perform the inaugural opening of the shop’s doors and also to help promote AKB48’s presence in Singapore.
Like the AKB48 Theater and Cafe, the new AKB48 shop is located at the SCAPE at Orchard Link. Both new merchandise exclusive to Singapore as well as goods from the AKB48 Official Hong Kong Shop are being sold here. The opening of such a shop in Singapore, will give locals an alternative or more convenient means of purchasing AKB48 products, while they once had to resort to proxy shipping or flying to Japan themselves.
While the shop is currently decorated to feature its three first guests, items featuring all 48 girls are available at the shop. So feel free to support any members you favor.
With AKB48 coming down twice a month to perform at the Singapore Theater, it is not out of the question that locals will be able to see other members visit the shop from time to time.
This morning, fans from around the region traveled down to the SCAPE, some coming down as early as 9 AM in anticipation of the shop’s opening. By the time the shop doors swung open at 1 PM, more than 300 people had formed an orderly line outside of the building.
Following the group’s concept of “idols you can meet”, fans who made purchases of at least SGD$15 at the shop were given the opportunity to shake hands with the three featured guests during the afternoon.
This was of course the highlight of the event for many of the AKB48’s devotees. Fans from as far as China and Japan had came down to show their support for their idols.
Based around the concept of idols you can meet. AKB48 is notable for their many meet-the-fans sessions. Fans can enjoy a personable feeling with the girls in addition to seeing them on popular media. It is this charm that makes AKB48 popular among the Japanese public and their expanding global fanbase.
The three girls had just flew in from Japan at 6 AM this morning but despite their busy schedule, managed to greet fans cheerily, interacting directly with them in a colloquial manner. The girls held a total of 3 handshake sessions over the afternoon for the fans, who had continued to wait patiently in line to purchase goods at the shop.
Needless to say, many fans left with a blissful smile.
After the allocated time session, the girls paid a visit to the queue outside of the shop to meet any other fans who had been unable to join in the queue earlier. They walked around to greet and give everyone in line a hi-touch (high five) one final time before retiring for the evening. A sweet way to ensure that no one had been left out.
Stay tuned for more coverage and photos of AKB48 in Singapore soon.