Daiso Ditches “Hotaru no Hikari” as Closing Time Tune

The iconic Japanese discount store chain Daiso is set to retire the popular song “Hotaru no Hikari” as its closing time music. For decades, the nostalgic tune has been played across Daiso stores approximately 15 minutes before closing, serving as a gentle hint for customers to make their final purchases.

However, the chain has found that the traditional approach doesn’t resonate with its growing foreign customer base.

“The increasing number of foreign tourists aren’t aware that the song signifies the end of business hours and continue to linger in the store,” Daiso stated.

As a result, the 100-yen shop has collaborated with music provider USEN to develop a new closing song called “Good Day – Closing Music.”

While the new tune aims to be “nostalgic,” “quiet,” and “nature-related” based on a survey of 150 people, many are skeptical that an original instrumental piece could communicate more effectively than the iconic Japanese song.

Alternatives Proposed by the Internet

The internet, as always, was full of suggestions after news of the music change broke. One popular proposal was simply making closing announcements in multiple languages, clearly stating when the store is closing. “If foreigners can’t understand ‘Hotaru no Hikari,’ how could they understand a new song?” one commenter aptly questioned.

Others recommended tunes with more apparent closing time implications, such as the classic “Closing Time” by Semisonic or even Super Mario’s ominous countdown music.

Some cheekily suggested aggressive messages like “Get the F*** Out” or the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars.

A few pragmatic suggestions also emerged, such as gradually dimming the store lights in the last 15 minutes and making periodic audio announcements about the impending closing time.

While the intention behind Daiso’s move is admirable, the verdict is still out on whether an original closing tune can be deciphered by international audiences unfamiliar with Japanese cultural cues.

An multilingual announcement policy could provide a more straightforward solution to politely alerting lingering customers. The ¥100 giant may need to explore these other options if “Good Day – Closing Music” doesn’t strike the right chord.

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