A Fish Story from Japan: Meet Seiyu’s Seafood Meister

By Marilee McInnis
September 21, 2015
Seiyu Associate Hiroyuki Kikuchi in Seafood Area

In Japan, when customers want fresh seafood, they count on Hiroyuki Kikuchi at the Akabane Seiyu store to help them choose the best seasonal fish at the best price. But it’s more than a job for Hiroyuki. It is his passion.

As Seafood Meister, Hiroyuki advises fish department associates in 18 stores of District 5 in Tokyo and Saitama. He makes fresh merchandise his top priority, and he has ways of highlighting it.

“I create an organized seafood display that shows the colors, and I try to have at least one new product every day,” Hiroyuki explains, adding that he always checks the quality and won’t display anything he wouldn’t want to buy himself. He also carefully considers the preferences of local customers.

“The fish in season tastes best and is a good price. In Tokyo, for example, people love tuna, and I cut tuna sashimi every day so local customers can enjoy their favorite fish while it is very fresh and tasty,” he says.

To further ensure he’s giving customers what they want, Hiroyuku spends time talking to them whenever he’s on the sales floor.

“I love it when customers ask questions and I want to share my knowledge with them. If a customer asks me to help them choose between items, I answer honestly and then they start to trust me. They come back and say ‘The sashimi you recommended the other day was good, so I will ask you for advice again,’’’ he explained. And that’s why his customers keep coming back.