Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda Energizes “Let’s Go! Family Sale!” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Freelance Announcer Aika Kanda Energizes “Let’s Go! Family Sale!”

No.46] Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Illustration by Kanda-san

Spring is the season for new beginnings, such as entering higher education or joining a company. There are probably many people who are busy making preparations, feeling both excited and anxious. Meanwhile, there is an event that is being held actively and secretly.

It is a family sale.


When you think of a family sale, you probably think of it as a sale held secretly for people who work at a clothing company and their families. However, when I was in college, my mother’s friend got some useful information from her friends. If you make friends with the people at that company, they will give you admission tickets. (If that’s the case, then it’s Operation Roller!), so I tried working part-time at an apparel brand, and after entering the workforce, I tried looking for news stories that would involve fashion-related topics. Thanks to this, I’ve been able to go to a variety of family sales, from brands I love to brands I’m not interested in.

The number of people attending every family sale has been increasing every year. For example, at one family sale that I had attended for nearly 15 years as a full-time participant, the venue was increased in size from the head office building to Tokyo Big Sight. The event was transformed into a large-scale event with hundreds of people lined up before the doors opened. Moreover, instead of using a ticket system, the event was changed to a system in which all applicants registered on the official website would receive an invitation to the event.

Furthermore, a website has even emerged to attract customers to the family sale on behalf of the event. Anyone who registers on the site can now receive information on family sales of various brands. The only procedure is to display a QR code for entry. Thus, the roller operation was over. I was impressed by how easy it had become.

However, when I went to a family sale through that website, I was shocked. Doors open at 1pm. When I arrived at the venue at 11am, expecting to wait in line for two hours, there were many people already shopping. “Eh!?” I exclaimed, and my body temperature suddenly rose. No matter how early I get up, my style is to arrive at the front of the group and examine the products while they are neatly displayed. Even this time (if I could get in early, I would have come early!). I desperately suppressed my angry words and asked the person in charge for an explanation. Then, they said, For those who have been participating in the past, the information will be at 10 o’clock.For those who came through that site, the information will be at 1:00 pm.

This might have been a natural response from the old-timers. However! If that’s the case, please write clearly. Experienced customers are allowed to enter three hours early.Therefore, you will no longer be able to find any bargains, and will have to do your best to shop in the disorganized display shelves.

(I’m going home!), I thought, but I was overcome with a pitiful feeling and ended up waiting in line for two hours. As expected, by the time I got inside, there wasn’t a single bargain left.


The spring battlefield is here!

Due to the shock of this experience and the timing of the spread of the new coronavirus infection, I have been away from family sales, which was my purpose in life, for several years.

 But this spring, I’m going to two family sales for the first time in a while. One is a brand that I love and have purchased for many years. The brand came to an end last fall/winter, and this will be the last family sale to sell off all inventory. I seriously want to participate so that I can say, Thank you for the many memories.

The other is the family sale, which I’m lining up for as I write this. This is my first brand. This is apparently the first time the event has been held, and the venue is the company’s office. I felt like I could watch it slowly and wanted to participate.

This time we arrived 2 hours early. She was 15th in the line-up, just barely able to line up as a member of the lead group. There was a long line behind me and I couldn’t see the last one. (Even though it’s the first time it’s being held, a fierce battle is expected.) I brace myself. The people in charge took their places and music began to play in the venue. Behind the glass door at the entrance, you can see a large number of clothes and bags lined up. I feel like every item is appealing to me to buy it, and I get so excited (it’s so cute! I’m going to buy it all!!). Then, the other side of me tells me to calm down, Aika! Finally, the voice of the person in charge rang out. We’ll be opening soon. Well, it’s finally here!! The first family sale in several years!! When the door swung open, I felt a shiver.

©Kazuki Shimomura

Aika Kanda was born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).

From the April 5 and 12, 2024 issues of FRIDAY

  • Text and illustrations by Aika Kanda

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