This Japanese-based retail store is 1,020-year old. So it knows about surviving

This Japanese-based retail store is 1,020-year old. So it knows about surviving

Japan is a land of many centuries-old businesses. They are often run by the same family during this entire time. The shop we are talking about is called Ichiwa, the seller of ice cream (one of the central types of ice cream here is mochi) & rice flour cakes. It is located in Kyoto.

The business was started in the year 1,000 BC – to sell refreshments to thousands of weary travelers from all over in Japan who would come to the old shrine in Kyoto to make praise for pandemic relief. In 1,020 years from that time, the background story stays pretty much the same.

The store survives thanks to relying on traditions rather than on profit or development. In 2020, as the inflow of tourists fell, the family operating the business takes a long-run look – just like thousands of similar businesses across Japan.

Japanese family businesses rely on a completely different business model than ones in the US. That’s why so few of them filed for bankruptcy in 2020 vs. tens of thousands in the US. Instead of maximizing profits, their #1 priority is to keep running, making sure the hereditary business passing through centuries. Thus, Japan is a home for 33,000 businesses with at least 100-year history, which are amazing 40% of all alike in the world (with 140 have been existing over 500 years and 19 seem to be working over 1,000 years). What they do to stay alive that long? They make their products with pride and have a higher purpose always in their head. For some, it is religion, like for Ichiwa, as it serves pilgrims.