We absolutely love Japan’s convenience stores, and even amongst the tough competition, the various brands have managed to create their own identity and each have their own strengths and specialities.
In most convenience stores, a short chime goes off when a customer enters or exits the store, and if you’ve ever set foot into a FamilyMart location, you might have noticed that they have a unique door jingle in contrast to the more common “ding-dong” sounding ones. The iconic chime has become so familiar, it’s almost synonymous with the FamilyMart brand, but did you know that the jingle is not exclusive to FamilyMart? You can have it in your own home!
FamilyMart is one of the three leading convenience store chains in Japan, and they have over 17,000 outlets domestically and internationally. FamilyMart stores, domestic and overseas, greet their customers with a standardized jingle, and it has become so widely recognized that many people are under the impression that that’s the chain’s trademark corporate jingle, but the familiar chime actually belongs to Panasonic instead!
▼ This is what it sounds like.
▼ Shanghai’s FamilyMart has the same door chime.
▼ And so do the outlets in Taiwan
The “FamilyMart chime” was composed by Yasushi Inada in 1978 for an electronic doorbell manufactured by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (renamed to Panasonic Corporation in 2008). The doorbell was a regular product that was made for use in any sort of home, store or office.
FamilyMart uses the Panasonic door chimes in their stores, and as they expanded their business with more and more outlets, the chime became increasingly familiar and consumers commonly referred to the chime as the “FamilyMart chime”. After over 40 years, Inada has finally stepped out to clarify the origins of the melody, and recently officially titled it Melody Chime No.1 – Daiseikyou (メロディーチャイム第1番・大盛況; Daiseikyou translates to “great success/prosperity”).
▼ Daiseikyou on the piano, performed by the composer himself.
As far as we can tell, the well-loved chime is a great success for both Panasonic and FamilyMart. And the best part is, Panasonic is still producing doorbells with the chime of success, and they’re available for purchase. If you’re a FamilyMart fan, now you know what to get as a souvenir when you visit Japan!
▼ These are the models that come with the famous chime.