Posts Tagged ‘Yukata’

What do Kimonos Cost?

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

We received a question from a customer asking why kimono and yukata are offered at different prices.  There are many reasons why a Japanese robe is priced the way it is. The most basic reason is that a retailer can pick and choose whatever price they want. As an example, let’s look at two stores. The ABC store sells a widget for $10.00 while the XYZ store offers the same product for $15.00.  It’s a choice each store owner makes and there are a variety of reasons for this.

The ABC Store may buy larger quantities from the manufacturer and receive a lower cost or discount for the volume purchase. They may have lower shipping costs and maybe lower overhead. It could simply be that the ABC store feels they are making a reasonable profit at $10.00. Every retailer has their own reasons why they charge what they do. The XYZ store may pay more for rent and pay more for labor and sales staff.

Chopa Zen Home has been a leading online retailer of Kimono and Yukata robes since 1994. Our number one goal when we started was and still is to offer quality robes at reasonable prices. We don’t attempt to be the low-price leader, nor do we want to be the most expensive. Being the most expensive retailer doesn’t necessarily mean you have the highest quality and best product. Being in business since 1994 has provided us with a deep level of understanding, experience and knowledge about the kimono market in the USA.

We purchase our kimono clothing from experienced, reputable, high-quality providers. We have longstanding agreements and constantly strive to accommodate each other, maintain a successful partnership and a great working relationship. This philosophy has long endured and is a reason why we are still a successful provider of beautiful kimono robes today. We have seen many firms come and go over the last three decades, but we stick with and maintain the principals we started with. One question we ask ourselves regularly is, would we purchase a specific kimono at the price we offer it?  The answer is yes, or we decide on a lower price or discontinue the item. There needs to be a reasonable profit or no retailer stays in business. Businesses have overhead including the cost of goods, advertising, utilities, rent, labor, taxes, insurance, duties, shipping and an array of other costs.

Pricing has a lot to do with the fabric. Obviously a nicer, richer and heavier fabric costs more to produce a robe than a lesser quality material. This is how our producers determine their costs, profit and asking prices. A retailer does the same. Sometimes we have two yukata that appear similar and are made with the same fabric but one costs $10.00 more than the other. The reason for this is usually tied to the cost of the fabric and mainly the printing and dyeing of the material. Solid colors are made by dying fabrics. Designs are made by printing on a dyed fabric. The more detailed the print, the costlier the end product is because there are more steps in printing, more time involved, more labor more dye or inks and this longer process adds up. A robe with one or two colors, not withstanding the underlying fabric will cost less to produce than one with 9 or 10 colors.

Sizing also plays a vital factor in determination of price.  A size small uses one amount of fabric while an large uses more. Manufacturers will usually blend the cost between the first few sizes because a larger size may leave less cutting or material waste while the smaller may have more.  Patterns can have an effect on the cost based on the cutting patterns. Some patterns must be cut a specific way for sewing, so the pattern isn’t lost or out of place. Wider sizes obviously cost more because more fabric is needed. Special collars, sleeves and other variables all play a part in pricing.

We recently shopped around to comparison shop and were surprised to see major price differences.  A specific kimono was available at one online store for $69.00 while the same robe was offered at another for $129.00.  Others listed the same robe at $89.00 and $99.00.  This proves there are anomalies in the market place but seeing this wide of a variance proves that some retailers are simply overpricing. No matter what the shipping costs, labor and overhead, if one retailer can justify selling the robe for $69.00 and making a fair profit to stay in business, how can the one asking $129.00 justify that price?

Chopa stands behind its history, longevity, customer service and fair pricing. We have many repeat customers and receive many compliments and thank you letters  throughout the year.  This is not only gratifying to us, but it proves to us that we are Your Kimono Source for styles, variety, sizing and price.  We offer easy returns if you are not satisfied with your purchase and are based and operated in the USA. We have made kimono shopping easy by taking the guesswork out of online shopping. When looking for a kimono, yukata or short length kimono or Happi Coat, Shop with Confidence, shop with Chopa Zen Home.

kimono fabrics

Photo courtesy of Beth MacDonald

Kimonos and Covid – The Challenges

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

We received a steady stream of questions during the peak and early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak beginning in March, 2020.  Customers  asked if our kimonos were safe? Was there risk of obtaining the virus from our kimono and yukata? What precautions were we taking? Were we open? Since we import from Japan, how safe were our robes? The answer to these questions, was that yes, our kimono were and are safe. Yes, we took and take a lot of precautions. Yes, we were and are open.

Chopa Zen Home stocks a rather large inventory of kimono and yukata robes throughout the year. Even with the outbreak, we had plenty of kimono in stock that we received months before any outbreak of the virus was known.  Our inventory levels constantly turn as orders ship out and new deliveries arrive. Some styles sell quicker than others, while some have unusual patterns similar to many retail products in your local store. Style XYZ may sell just a few one week, then the next week rolls around and sales of that style explode.  We don’t always know why this happens, but it is part of the business and we try our best to adjust and move with the flow. Tracking previous sales patterns establishes a baseline for future sales, but there are always outliers that can take place and that is when things become unpredictable. A story may be shown on TV about kimonos, a movie may run several times over a weekend that showed the Japanese lifestyle and actors wearing yukata. A well known celebrity may appear wearing a kimono and we see a spike in sales, especially in that particular style.

Our producers in Japan were very cautious throughout the pandemic and remain so.  Masks are worn, hands are sanitized, gloves are used and many staff members work remotely or in well ventilated rooms with partitions set up between each work station. Orders are packed with care, boxed, sealed and shipped air freight which lessens the time in transit.  Once they arrive, our staff uses the same practices to assure their safety as well as our customers. Masks, gloves, partitions, some remote work and constant sanitizing are and were the norm for many months. With so many people in the USA staying home through furloughs, work-at-home assignments and business closures, we saw a large increase in business like many other online retailers did. People were afraid to go to stores to shop, discovered the many benefits of online shopping and wanted casual things to wear while at home. Since Kimono and Yukata robes are so popular as loungewear, shopping for kimonos was an easy choice, especially with our large selection of prints, colors and sizes. We are proud to say we introduced many new customers to the fine luxury of wearing a yukata while lounging, working at home or taking care of kids and the Homefront. Welcome to all of our new customers and thank you for all of your kind words you sent our way. It is always a joy to read how much customers love their robes. It is also gratifying to see how many repeat purchases are made as people realize they want a second or third kimono to expand their new style at home.

Chopa is happy to report that we had zero infections among staff and families throughout the pandemic. The precautions we took benefitted everyone involved and our staff meetings were open for everyone to share experiences outside of the office, to relay what precautions they took when venturing out for groceries, gasoline, errands and the like.  Sharing our stories went a long way in educating ourselves on what or what not to do to stay safe.

With shutdowns and ongoing government restrictions in Japan we came across and still face challenges to keep our selection as full as possible. Sometimes we have to scale back orders or adjust timeframes in production. Other times we make adjustments solely to help our partners and producers. It was often more difficult on them, since many of their customers shut down and business slowed. There were restrictions on workdays, openings, number of people allowed in one workspace location and more. Obtaining fabrics was and still is an  obstacle. Businesses that dye fabrics face mandated closures or went out of business. Some cotton fabrics are still scarce or unavailable. Silk robes have been the most difficult to obtain. We have been unable to offer new silk stock for nearly a year. This sources back to the silk mills where the fabric is made right through to the dyeing and printing of the material.  Chopa anticipates this will change in the coming months and we will be offering beautiful silk kimonos again by the Christmas season. Silk Happi Coats are always popular as gifts. Soft, silky, smooth to the touch, short and sexy, they make magical gifts for men and women.

If you shop our online store and see some empty slots of a particular size or pattern, don’t hesitate to send us a text or email and ask.  We are working hard each day doing what we can to keep adequate supplies for large and full selections of kimono robes, but sometimes things happen beyond our control. We can always provide you with an update and we maintain a courtesy email notification service. When a style or size you seek is out of stock, ask us to put you on this alert system. When that yukata or kimono arrives, we will notify you by email. There is no obligation to complete a purchase, we only email you once and your email will not be used for marketing. It is deleted once we send out the notice.  Once again, we thank all of our customers for your support. As always, let us know what you think.

photo by cottonbro

Photo courtesy of cottonbro.

Top 5 Sellers for May 2021 – Consumers Demand Comfort

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

One of the retail categories that saw large spikes in sales during the Pandemic was loungewear. It makes sense because whether you were shut in from mandated lock downs or working from home, people like to feel relaxed and comfortable at home. Analysis from a recent study of retailers showed a large jump in loungewear sales online, with some reporting double and triple digit sales gains over the prior year. Many stores found little reason to advertise and promote swimwear last summer and instead saw the demand for loungewear and jumped on it.

Many customers prefer something unique and different rather than a pair of sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt to lay around the home. Whether you are doing chores, binge watching your favorite TV series, cooking or catching up on your reading, Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes have become a popular alternative.  The prints and styles are striking and beautiful. With the wrap around style of these robes, they can be loose fitting or tied more snugly depending on what you are doing and how you are feeling. After all, nothing feels better than cool cotton when hanging out at home. Those that want an even lighter feel turn to Happi Coats. Happi Coats are shorter length versions of kimono and yukata. They are available in several lengths and have one or two side pockets making it easier to keep your glasses or cell phone close to you.

We received several notes from customers who were on work-at-home assignments and expressed their desire to permanently work from home. One customer, Janice said if she was granted the opportunity she would buy five yukata and Happi Coats so she could wear a different one each work day. She thought it would give herself the feeling of a traditional workplace with the added luxury of loungewear.  We can’t argue with her.  Another customer said his work at home team enjoyed their daily Zoom teleconference calls because he wore a different kimono each day. They all wanted to know where he was getting them from and was happy to refer several new customers to us over the months.  Thank you Ben, we always appreciate referrals.

Another longtime customer of ours discovered another benefit of the Happi Coats. She wore them out when she went to pick up food for dinner or had to drop something off at the post office. Ellen shared with us that she would never feel comfortable heading out of the house in a regular bathrobe, but in a Happi Coat she was making a fashion statement. Slip on a pair of shorts or jeans and she was good to go. She regularly received compliments from others and it not only boosted her confidence, but she started trying on different outfits at home preparing for the days when America fully reopens again. She discovered that her Happi coats complimented some of her slacks and jeans even with heels.  She plans on educating her girlfriends when they start heading out again on weekends to restaurants and clubs. She calls this fashion Street-Chic. Ellen, we welcome your photos if you would like to share, so we can show the rest of our Happi Coat audience. Happi Coats, they aren’t just for lounging anymore!

Each month we like to share with our customers what is currently popular among the kimono and yukata we offer.

For the month of May, 2021, here are the Top Five Sellers:

  1. Yukata – Red Crane and Tree
  2. Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  3. Yukata – Eternal Chain
  4. Yukata – Blue Dawn
  5. Yukata – Dragon and Bamboo

Three of the ladies styles made the Top Five this month. Sales were brisk early on as Mother’s Day was approaching. Don’t forget about Father’s Day. It’s just a few weeks away. Nothing would make Dad happier than lounging in a summer yukata. Happi Coats make great cover ups at the beach and pool. If Dad is an active swimmer, give some thought to this unique gift idea. Thanks for reading, we will be back soon with another blog. Please comment below or email us with any questions, comments or thoughts, we love hearing from our customers and might mention you in a future post.

 

blue dawn yukata

Blue Dawn Yukata

red crane yukata

Red Crane and Tree Yukata

And the WINNERS are…..Top Five Sellers for April, 2021

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Top selling kimono

Each month we like to celebrate and wrap up the month with our Best Selling Kimono and Yukata list. This idea came as a result of our customers who write us and asked for ideas about which Kimono or Yukata would be the right one for a gift, a spouse, a kid, significant other or even themselves. While we always point out that selecting a kimono is simply a personal choice, we are happy to provide feedback if they have certain questions or need comparison information. We have been selling kimono and yukata for over 27 years and have learned at least a thing or two.

This has become a fun and enjoyable task each month and also helps us with inventory, ordering needs and knowing what’s the most popular choice during the past 30 days. Check back each month if you have an interest in what the current trend is for the most popular Japanese robes. We received an email  from a repeat customer the other day, who had been sitting on the fence deciding on a choice for his next yukata.  He has purchased several from us over the past year and wanted to add to his collection.  He mentioned that he sometimes has a hard time deciding because of the many styles we offer, but began to look at this list we publish monthly and said it really helped him. His newest yukata was shipped last month and he wrote us to say he couldn’t be more happy with his choice.  He wanted us to give a shout out to our customers for helping him decide. This customer thinks he is getting older and has a harder time making decisions to which we say, you are not getting older, just becoming more “retro”. Last month was his birthday and we included a nice little gift with his purchase. It’s the little things like this that make us love what we do.  We love hearing from customers, so if you have thoughts, questions, comments or concerns, please let us know.  You can use the email address listed on our order confirmation or our Contact Us form located on the web.

So, without further delay, here are the TOP FIVE SELLERS in April:

  1. Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  2. Happi Coat – Blue Koi
  3. Yukata – Great Wave – Purple
  4. Yukata – Dragon & Mt. Fuji – Black
  5. Yukata – Dragon and Hawk

We have been very busy shipping Mother’s Day gifts over the past few weeks, so it wasn’t a surprise to see the Pink Cherry Blossom yukata hit the number one spot.  The balance of the list were men’s robes, so it would appear that customers are shopping early for Father’s Day, June 20th, and perhaps picking up yukatas for the warmer summer months. Of course we usually see a brisk shift in business for graduations and weddings from now through the end of July.

Whatever the event you have throughout the year, if you need a unique gift, visit us online at www.chopa.com. We offer a large selection of Japanese robes for men, women and kid’s. We receive dozens and dozens of notes each season telling us what a great idea these were for gifting. Of course, don’t forget Christmas which is our biggest selling season of all. It’s never to early to start a gift list and we offer an extended return window for Christmas purchases which is announced later in the year. For now, let’s just enjoy the warmer weather rolling in and the bright sunny days ahead.  Here in Florida it has already warmed up and the roads and beaches are becoming more crowded each week. Our short length Happi Coats are popular and very stylish as cover ups at the beach or pool. Lounging on the patio with a cool cocktail isn’t a bad idea either.

Best Selling Yukata in March

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

March Best Sellers.

The TOP FIVE Selling Yukata for March are:

  1. Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  2. Happi Coat – Blue Koi
  3. Yukata – Tree of Life
  4. Happi Coat – Longevity
  5. Yukata – Eternal Chain

Happi Coats are short-length versions of the yukata and kimono.  These are very popular during summer months to lounge in or as cover-ups at the pool and beach. If you are looking to make a statement at your favorite swimming spot this summer, wear a happi coat and all eyes will follow. They also make great gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Dragon meets the Kimono

Sunday, April 4th, 2021

The dragon is a popular pattern used in Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes. Dragons have been revered in Japan for over one thousand years and were considered to be ancestors of the first Emperor of Japan. These mythical creatures were commonly associated with bodies of water.

The Japanese dragon has three claws versus the Chinese version which has four or five. Dragons are believed to control fire, rain and the earth. Variations in history featured dragons in water, among the clouds and sky or nestled in forests surrounded by the majestic Japanese  Tsuri pine trees. Sometimes referred to as Tatsu which translates to ‘sign of the dragon.’

Dragons are considered to represent wisdom, power and success which in turn produces luck, fortune and most importantly strength. It’s easy to see why the Dragon is popular in Japan which is rich in symbolism and culture.  The fascinating history of the dragon has reached continents far and wide. Chopa Zen Home has been your Kimono Source since 1994.  We offer two dozen patterns celebrating the symbolic  dragon. Whether you seek a full length Kimono, lighter weight yukata, short length Happi Coat or a robe for Big and Tall men, you will enjoy shopping our wide range of styles and patterns in our online store.  Shop 24 hours a day and receive Free Shipping on orders of $75 or more in the USA. Most orders ship within one business day.

dragon yukata for men

The dragon yukata is available at www.chopa.com

 

TOP FIVE SELLERS IN FEBRUARY

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Best selling yukata.

The best sellers in February were:

1)  Dragon & Mt. Fuji Yukata – Blue
2)  Navy Kagome Yukata
3)  Wave Yukata
4)  Dragon Yukata
5)  Great Wave – Purple

Thank you to all of our wonderful customers. We hope you enjoy your Japanese Yukata.

 

 

 

January Best Selling Kimono and Yukata.

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Top 5 Sellers for January, 2021.

1) Dragon and Bamboo Yukata
2) Great Wave Yukata (Purple)
3) Navy Longevity Yukata
4) Tree of Life Yukata
5) Navy Dragon Yukata

Top five selling robes.

Top Five Best Sellers for January.

New Shipment of Kimono and Yukata Arrived!

Monday, January 18th, 2021

Chopa strives to have a full offering of Japanese Kimono and Yukata at all times, but with sudden surges in sales related to Holiday Gifts, a mention in social media or a large bulk order, we experience shortages from time to time. We like to be busy and shipping hundreds and hundreds of robes, but we dislike running out and work hard to alleviate the dreaded “Out of Stock” notation on any particular style.

The good news is that a new shipment, the first of the year, just arrived and we are pleased to announce that over 25 sizes and colors are back in stock and ready to ship. Among the list of new arrivals are the Men’s Kagome yukata, the ever popular “Dragon” yukata, Tree of Life, Daimonji Kimono, Royal Cranes, Ukiyoe, Dragon and Tiger, Cherry Blossoms, and Ribbons Kimono.

Some styles are offered in five different sizes and those are back in stock. This is just the first of many more shipments scheduled over the year. We generally receive new inventory monthly along with several large shipments in the Spring, Summer and Fall. It has been more difficult scheduling over the past 6 months due to Covid restrictions throughout Japan. Production has slowed and in many situations, our producers are working with smaller staffs for social distancing and to allow others to work from home.

We welcome inquiries on any pattern or style of kimono or yukata we offer. If you don’t see a size in stock, email us and we can let you know when we expect more to arrive. Chopa offers a free email notification service to anyone. When a particular size or style is available, we send you a courtesy email alerting you of the news.  There is never an obligation to make a purchase and we will only send you one email.  It’s a free service and we are happy to monitor upcoming shipments for you.

Happy Shopping!

kimono and yukata robes

Fresh Kimono and Yukata.

 

December Top Selling Kimono and Yukata Robes

Monday, January 11th, 2021

December is always a busy month at Chopa Zen Home.  Our large selection of  Japanese Kimono and Yukata are popular gifts and we experience a substantial surge in business each year.  We wish to thank all of our customers for their loyalty and patronage in December and throughout the 2020 year. Here is to a bright and healthy 2021. Happy New Year to all.

Top 5 Sellers in December 2020:

navy dragon yukata

(1) Black – Zen and Martial Arts Yukata

(2) Blue Koi Yukata

(3) Navy Dragon & Mt Fuji Yukata

(4) Tree of Life Yukata

(5) Navy Kagome Yukata