Village Vanguard (Japanese bookstore)

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The original Village Vanguard store

Village Vanguard is a book store chain that is run by Village Vanguard Corporation in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The concept of the store is "A playful book store" (ja:遊べる本屋).[1] Although it is a book store, it carries a wide variety of products other than books, such as CDs, DVDs, and SPICEs, which makes it close to being a variety store.


Village Vanguard was founded by Keiichi Kikuchi (菊地敬一, Kikuchi Keiichi) in 1986.[1] The first Village Vanguard store opened in the Tenpaku ward of Nagoya. 

The store was named after Village Vanguard, a jazz club located in New York City. This is because Kikuchi first planned on playing jazz in the bookstore, which actually never happened.[2]

The original Village Vanguard in NYC


Village Vanguard has 358 shops in total all across Japan,[1] with each store having a completely different layout. The layout of products is one of the biggest characteristics of this store; instead of making the layout simply by category, they locate their product based on the employee's creativity.[3]



Although Village Vanguard is distinct as a bookstore, their book sales only makes up for around 30% of their total sales. Unlike majority of the chain book stores, their line up of books varies a lot in every store, because the selection of books are basically up to the person in charge of each store.[4]


Village vanguard is known for collaborating with various things, such as bands, companies, YouTubers and more.[5][6][7] The merchandise varies time to time, and they produce things such as clothing, key chains, towels to bowls, sandals etc.


SPICE is a term used in Village Vanguard which stands for Select, Pop, Intelligence, Culture and Entertainment. It is used to refer to all the products except books, CDs and DVDs, things such as toys, clothes and accessories.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "会社概要". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  2. ^ ウェアハウススタイル(エイ出版社、2015年)69ページ
  3. ^ "ヴィレヴァンの「ごちゃまぜ」陳列論~店舗は三次元の雑誌のように | AdverTimes(アドタイ) by 宣伝会議". AdverTimes(アドタイ)宣伝会議が運営する、広告界のニュース&情報プラットフォーム (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  4. ^ 「ユニークな品ぞろえの書店、ヴィレッジヴァンガード――文句があるか(異能経営)」 日経流通新聞1999年9月28日、28ページ
  5. ^ Thomas, Samuel (2018-09-23). "The steady pace of mainstream fashion". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  6. ^ "ケリン×ヴィレヴァン ぶちとばコラボグッズ緊急発売決定!". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  7. ^ "マキシマム ザ ホルモン×ヴィレッジヴァンガード、コラボグッズセットの発売が決定|". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-10-22.