Carytown retailer Need Supply Co. opening two new stores–in Japan

The local store’s unique catalogs have made them ‘Big in Japan,’ with plans for stores in Shibuya and Kumamoto.


There’s a good chance that many of Need Supply’s best customers don’t even know that it started 20 years ago as a brick-and-mortar store in Richmond, Virginia. The e-commerce site’s expert mix of appealingly simple, affordable contemporary and indie brands has become a go-to for modern wardrobe staples for shoppers the world over. Richmond is still the retailer’s only location, but that will soon change: Need Supply’s second-ever store will open this Saturday in Shibuya, Japan, with one more to follow on Nov. 28 in Kumamoto, Japan.

Both stores will center around a mix of hard-to-find Scandinavian and Japanese brands. The company has partnered with creative director Takayuki Minami of Alpha Co. Ltd. to open the new locations, and we were surprised to find that Need Supply didn’t just become Big in Japan through e-commerce. Rather, it was Human Being Journal, the retailer’s biannual in-house magazine that gained it entry into the country.

The popularity of the store’s catalog, which was recently translated into Japanese, was one of the major factors behind plans to open the new overseas locations–it wasn’t the result of an e-commerce platform, as one might tend to think.

Need Supply Co. currently has 40 employees and just closed on a new round of funding to finance the expansion.

The Shibuya store is slated to open this Saturday.

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Photo: RVA Blog

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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