Taipei-- The first LINE FRIENDS Cafe & Store in Taiwan features the new character of "Choco", a younger sister of bear "Brown", and is attracting constomers who want to take photos with a 3.5 meter high mega Choco statue.
The new outlet is opened by LINE FRIENDS Corp., a unit of messaging app provider LINE Corp.
The store is a combination of a coffee shop and LINE-theme souvenir outlet after another LINE FRIENDS Store, which sells souvenirs only, was launched inside the Taipei Main Station in December 2015.
LINE FRIENDS senior director Chang Shih-shun (???) said that only five outlets of LINE FRIENDS in the world have the "Mega Choco" statues and Taiwan's store, which is located in the Shinkong Mitsukoshi Department Store's A11 outlet in Taipei, has the newest one.
The four other giant Choco statues are in the shops located in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Beijing.
Choco, born on Valentines' Day, was introduced by LINE FRIENDS Corp. in March 2016 as one of the newest members of the LINE FRIENDS family, which are animated stickers used in messaging App LINE.
The cute lady bear is fond of taking selfies, according to LINE FRIENDS.
Well-known Taiwanese food blogger Alina was one of the fans of LINE characters in Taiwan and rushed to the new LINE outlet to visit Choco on the grand opening day on Dec. 23.
On her blog page, Alina said that she arrived at the store as early as 9:15 a.m. that day but found many people got there earlier than she did and she was the 102nd visitor before the store launched its grand opening at 11 a.m.
"I was not among the first 100 visitors so I missed the opportunity to get a free gift," Alina lamented.
After the grand opening, LINE FRIENDS' fans continued to line up in the new store to try to spot Choco and other LINE characters, like Brown, chick Sally and rabbit Cony. More importantly, they simply wanted to buy LINE character-themed products, such as T-shirts, mugs, key rings, smartphone ornaments and covers, pillows, badges, and thermos bottles.
Many of the fans said that they are attracted to the special sites arranged by the store for photo-taking, including the Mega Choco with a weight of 250 kilograms, the pinky Choco House, where the lady bear is waving to you, Choco's coffee corner, where the girl is sitting back and sipping coffee, another of Choco's space where a book shelve shows her intellectual spirit, as well as an energetic Choco riding her motorcycle.
A woman, surnamed Lin, who is a fan of LINE FRIENDS characters, said she took a day off to attend the grand opening of the new store and visited Choco in the store two more times in the following week.
"When I saw Choco, my heart melted," Lin said.
According to the store, the staffers have to impose controls on the number of guests on holidays to avoid chaos caused by the long line of visitors.
In the cafe, Choco's fans are served with Matcha-flavored bear-shaped Brown mini hot cakes, exclusively for Taiwan's consumers. In addition to the cakes, the cafe shop also provides Choco's popcorn. The two deserts, which are made by order, are in a limited supply every day.
To cater to the fans in Taiwan, the coffee shop also provides hot banana chocolate drinks in the winter, while Taiwan Milk Tea, Taiwan Boba Milk Tea and Sun Moon Lake Ruby Black Tea are exclusive offerings in Taiwan.
LINE Corp. said that LINE characters have become very popular in Taiwan. The messaging app provider hoped that the presence of LINE FRIENDS cafe & store will allow Taiwanese consumers to go offline to experience the joy these characters bring.
According to LINE, Taiwan has about 17 million LINE messaging App users.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel