The Japanese brand Uniqlo offered the washable face masks this week. In their efforts to buy Airism masks, shoppers queued at Uniqlo stores and even crashed its website on Friday.
Uniqlo, the clothing chain began selling a new type of face masks with breathable fabric. The idea of such convenient and lasting accessory made Japanese people happy, taking into account that all the globe is preparing for the coronavirus outbreak lasting through summer.
Friday morning became very unusual for Uniqlo servers, the users have crashed them, trying to buy online the face masks. Scenes of people standing in the rain waiting for stores to open were seen throughout Japan and broadcast on Twitter, while the online store displayed an apology to those looking for the washable Airism masks, saying the website was inundated.
Prospects of a prolonged crisis caused by a virus have encouraged Japanese consumers to buy and make reusable, washable versions even as disposable masks, initially in short supply, have become more easily available.
Airism, a popular Uniqlo line
Airism has been one of Uniqlo’s most popular lines, known for allowing wearers to stay cool in heat and during exercise. The masks are sold in three-piece packs for 990 yen ($9.26) plus tax, and are available in three sizes, Reuters reports.
Shares in Fast Retailing <9983.T>, which owns Uniqlo, rose around 1% in morning trade, compared with little change in the broader market.
New app for tracing COVID-19 in Japan
In its efforts to cope with the coronacrisis, Japan’s government urged the citizens to install the country’s first-ever coronavirus-tracing app launched earlier this week.
As prime minister be said, the app wouldn’t invade users’ privacy, as per reports. The smartphone app functioned on the Bluetooth tracking and needed the permission of the users, like most COVID-19 tracing apps used by the rest of the world.
However, those that tested positive to the novel coronavirus had to feed the details in the app and register their information voluntarily, so that when other users came in the vicinity, they were alerted.
According to developers, the tracing app’s data would not store sensitive contact info such as phone numbers or locations. Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga was quoted saying that people could use the app with trust and a sense of safety.