Resistance is Futile
Flying Tiger Copenhagen
With the development and proliferation of the ‘throwaway society’ concept, the ‘cheap and cheerful’ slogan has in recent years been replaced in the general psyche by ‘cheap and nasty’. But in 1995 the boffins behind Copenhagen’s Flying Tiger opened shop, bringing together – with typical Scandinavian elan – a handy, colourful, and above all useful collection of everyday items and accessories. To say the concept was successful would be an understatement, with the brand’s 200+ outlets across 18 European countries, where items are priced in simple, rounded denominations (for example, in the UK stock sells at £1-5, £10, £15 or £20 increments, with a top price of £30) and where shoppers delight in filling their baskets with a raft of goods from stationery to kitchen utensils, and toys to homeware.
It’s perhaps not surprising then, that the ‘impossible to leave without buying something’ ethos of the brand has spread like wildfire in Tokyo where the first store opened in July 2012, swiftly followed this October by the latest outlet in shopping magnet Omotesando, where long queues are not unusual. With its shelves fairly groaning with everything from brightly-decorated cups and bowls, mouse pads and oven gloves to smartphone covers, alarm clocks and pencil sharpeners, it really is like being let loose in a big, calorie-free candy shop. Resistance is futile.