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Big Changes are Here - A Letter from the CEO

announcements-dokidoki announcements-umai dokidoki japan-crate japancrate-announcements umai-crate

Pasted image at 2016_04_21 01_02 PM

Konnichiwa and Hello!

I'm Hank, founder and CEO of Japan Crate. When we started a year and a half ago, we had no idea this would grow as quickly as it did.  Through your support, excitement, and enthusiasm, we grew from a 2-person operation shipping crates from our apartment, to a full scale team shipping tens of thousands of crates every month.  We truly couldn’t have done it without you! We’ve been listening every step of the way. I make it a priority to read every post on our blog/social media, and I’m constantly searching through #japancrate hashtags to see what our family has to say about their crates.  You've given us amazing feedback, great advice and criticism--words that inspire us to continuously improve our product and service. That being said, we’re beyond excited to announce some big changes we’re launching for Japan Crate:  

Bigger Crates, More Candy, Same Price

evolvedOne of our main focuses at Japan Crate is the experience of unboxing a Japan Crate--that feeling of bewilderment and joy you get unpacking a crate of colorful candy, almost exploding out the moment you open it was something we wanted to preserve forever.  However, we quickly realized that sometimes the candies we want to include each month just don’t fit. We won’t let such a silly thing stop us from sharing those items, so we’ve completely redesigned our Mini, Original and Premium crates to fit as much candy, snacks and drinks as possible.  We’re also going to increase the number of items in each crate; this way you get the best value possible, and can try as many goodies as possible. For Mini, the quantity will stay the same but the size of the Mini crate is increasing to allow for larger, higher quality items. The best part – the bigger, redesigned crates start shipping in just a few weeks with May’s crates! The new item structure will be as follows:
  • Mini – 5 items
  • Original – 10 items
  • Premium – 15 items
The cost will stay the same for you, we wanted to do something to say thank you for being such an amazing community!  We’re excited by the potential that the increased box size and item count gives us, and can’t wait to share larger items with you in the near future!  

New Brand Partnerships and Exclusive Japanese Candy

We receive a ton of awesome feedback on what you’d like to see in future crates, and we’re proud to announce that we’ll soon be including some really cool items you can only find in Japan from brands that you know, but with a Japanese twist. Items that we’re currently working to get include:
  • Kit Kat Flavors beyond green tea
  • Japan-exclusive sodas from Pepsi, Coke, and Fanta
  • Japanese flavored snacks from Doritos, Cheetos, and Lays
  • Small batch candy/snacks from localized regions in Japan
  • Much much more!
Not only will we be providing more items in future crates, we’re making sure they’re going to be better items.  We’re working with some of Japan’s top candy manufacturers to offer Japan Crate exclusive items in the near future, so please keep your eyes out for updates. Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 3.49.05 PMFor Premium subscribers: We’re also working on improving your revolving bonus item to include licensed merchandise from some of Japan’s most famous characters (Zelda, Pokemon, etc.), and we can't wait to bring you these hard to find bonus items.   We've also secured new partnerships for Doki Doki Crate to include only licensed merchandise from your favorite shows and franchises. These partnerships include Hoppe Chan maker Sun Hoseki, AMUSE, Hatsune Miku, Neko Atsume, San-X, Viz Media, and more!  

Better Planning, Shipping, Support 

new how it works coloredI know that we’ve had trouble over the past few months hitting our target ship date for all crates--there was a delay in January and again in March. Despite being elements outside of our control over at the ports, it’s our responsibility to plan better, and for that we’re very sorry.  We really dropped the ball, and know it’s completely unacceptable to miss projected ship dates, especially when we know how excited you are to receive your crates. We’ve now made sure delays are a thing of the past.  We have worked out an in depth planning and shipping cycle to receive our crate contents from Japan a full 30-60 days before we ship them to you.  This allows us to counter any potential delays, and ensure crates always ship on time. You can rest assured that you’ll receive your crates on time, every time.

Partnering with a New Shipping Provider

One of the biggest frustrations we hear from subscribers is with our current shipping company.  Subscribers have trouble with shipping notifications, tracking, and even broken/lost packages.  We decided to break away from having USPS ship our products, and instead have partnered with a new logistics company to improve our shipping as a whole. We’ve partnered with Newgistics to handle all future shipments.  They work with some of the biggest subscription box companies, and we’re now working with them for all Domestic shipments.  This will give you the most accurate tracking details and allow you to receive your package in the best condition possible.  

Improved Website and Subscription Management + Rewards Program

We’ll be updating our website to include our new updates, and we’re working on ways for you to better handle your subscription. In addition, we’re testing out features that will be releasing soon! Website additions include:
  • Refer a friend program to get you free crates (under construction)
  • Loyalty program (under construction)
  • On site forum & trading post
All of these changes were made with you in mind to make your experience the best it can be. We want to provide you with the best way to experience the fun of Japan from home, and we’re always looking for new ways to do so. As always, if you have any feedback, questions or concerns – or just want to say hi, shoot us a message at info@japancrate.com and we’d be happy to hear from you. May's crate is the first to feature the larger crate designs, get one here if you haven't already! Thank you, Hank Rao, Founder Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.21.07 PM

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