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'Mask concierges' help customers choose coverage at new shop near Tokyo Station

The first physical store of Mask.com, where over 200 varieties of masks are on offer, is seen in Tokyo's Chuo Ward on Sept. 18, 2020. (Mainichi/Kimi Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- Mask.com, one of the largest online mask shops in Japan, has opened its first physical store near Tokyo Station, where "mask concierges" help customers choose the best choice of facial coverage for them, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The store, located in the underground Yaesu Shopping Mall directly connected to Tokyo Station, has proved popular among customers since its opening on Sept. 8. Its operator, Cox, an apparel maker and distributor based in the capital's Chuo Ward, decided to launch the physical store after many patrons of Mask.com requested that they be allowed to see the products firsthand before purchasing them. Mask.com started selling its facial covers online in April, offering more than 5,000 masks from over 200 varieties.

    Inside the approximately 60-square-meter shop, rows of masks in various colors are on offer, from simple ones each priced at 500 yen to luxury ones including a 100,000 yen (about $956) mask adorned with Swarovski crystals.

    "The biggest concern among visitors here is about the size of the masks they are buying," store manager Saya Takahata, 30, commented. "As the practice of wearing masks has become common, we'd like to offer proposals to customers so they can enjoy putting on masks comfortably, even if only a little, according to their age, gender, outfit and purpose," she said.

    The store is open from 10 a.m. through 8 p.m. From October, it will offer a service to print customers' preferred initials and logos on their masks.

    (Japanese original by Kimi Takeuchi, Photo Group)

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