When Krispy Kreme donuts entered the Japanese market, people were willing to wait in line for up to three hours to get donuts although another brand of donuts was available. I have tried these donuts and agree that they taste really good, however I would not wait in line for up to three hours for them. The Japanese on the other hand, enjoy standing in line. Japanese people are very patient. If there is no line for a product it may be looked upon as unpopular and of no value. Waiting in line is so common in Japan that it is used as a marketing tool; the Japanese may rent persons to stand in line for them when they are physically challenged or just don’t feel like standing in line but want the product being offered.
I feel fast checkout lines are uncommon in Japan because the Japanese are patient people and enjoy waiting in line. They take the attitude that anything of value is worth standing in line for. If there is no line, there is no value. An added benefit of standing in line are the conversations between family members and friends and the memories that they make.
Kohlbacher, F., & Holtschneider, U. (2008). Tokyo Queues for You. J@Pan Inc, (78), 24-26.
Marquand, R., & Staff, w. (2005, September 27). Japanese queue - gladly - for a 35-foot platypus and falafel. Christian Science Monitor. p. 7.