The Contest chairperson Shinya Arai says the aim is to make shopping in the world's No.2 economy a "super" experience. He went on: "We do this competition every year to improve the overall customer service qualities. Supermarket clerks will learn from the performances and supermarkets will learn to have an eye to re-evaluate customer service. That will raise the level of the entire supermarket industry." The contest is only one example of how serious service is taken in Japanese retail sales.
The 2009 crown was won by 22-year-old Chika Kato of Tokyo, who called the check-out contest a dream come true. "I'm speechless! I've been practising for this day since last year so my dream finally came true!" Back at her Tokyo aisle, Kato has become chief of the register rangers at her supermarket, aptly named "Summit".