Fashionistas come in droves to Laforet Harajuku for the annual Grand Bazar sales. Shop staff don the signature sale season garb: Laforet branded robes and the all-important megaphones. Every single employee screams the siren calls of "irrashaimase" (welcome) and announcements for special 'timed sales' that seem to happen every hour. The department store transforms into a sonic shrilling beast sucking up shoppers one by one.
July's Grand Bazar is a sale event unlike any other. Every single store on all six floors (plus all the 'half' floors) drastically slash their prices for five days of consumer chaos. Outside of the complex there are pop-up booths peddling 1,000 yen discount clothing. Hungry shoppers dive and dig into the bins of clothes and frantically sift through the racks, hoping for their next spectacular find. It's all about the hunt.
The amount of screaming and yelling inside the building is enough to warrant ear plugs or a decent set of headphones blasting your own get-pumped-for-shopping mix. Weaving through the crowds is claustrophia-inducing and will make the weary run for the nearest exit. If you can stand it, you'll find bargains of up to 80% off.
Those who successfully combat the crowds will be seen wandering around the Harajuku streets with the signature Grand Bazar shopping bags. This year's bags featured a black cat that seems to stare into your soul, hypnotizing you into buying more and more things you probably don't need.
The ad campaigns for Grand Bazar are notoriously quirky and off-the-wall, sure to entice the most avant garde trend setters. This year's animated campaign featured the aforementioned black cat, a mysterious disembodied, gloved hand and a beeline of plastic shoppers aiming directly for the building entrance. Watch it for yourself here.
All year round Laforet Harajuku features iconic brands such as fur fur, Top Shop/Top Man, Jane Marple, Franklin Marshall, Emily Temple cute, JEANASIS, Angelic Pretty and so much more. The 2013 event took place from July 25th to 29th (doors open from 9am to 9pm). If you find yourself in Tokyo during the summer, don't miss out on one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year.