I went to Tokyu Hands, a sort of DIY/home essentials/everything store, to get some materials to ship luggage home. I found a big cardboard box that was within the international shipping size limits, and folded up, it was at least four feet a side. A little ungainly, maybe, but I knew I just had a short train ride home, and I could manage it.
When I finished checkout, though, the cashier put her hand in the air and a staff guy jogged over, took the cardboard, and told me to wait at the service counter. Five minutes later, my cardboard comes back wrapped in protective paper, with handles taped to the side- perfectly engineered for carrying underarm! You can’t reduce the service here to over-wrapping or excessive politeness. That may be a part of it sometimes, but the bigger drive is to do whatever one can to make the customer’s day easier.
It’s a pretty stark contrast to an incompetent teenagers and jaded, uppity hipsters you find shopping in SF or PDX.