Struggling Railway Operator Sells Canned Stones To Avoid Business Going Under
The coronavirus pandemic has had a serious effect on most businesses around the world with some industries on the verge of bankruptcy.
Tourism is one of the adversely affected industries with an all-time low record that has seen many tourism-related businesses go under.
A struggling Japanese railway operator is trying to avoid going under by selling canned stones from its railway tracks.
The Choshi Electric Railway Company in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture relies on tourism to support its operation but with the coronavirus pandemic, business has been bad.
Founded in 1923, the company has had to overcome adversity several times during its 97-year history but the situation has never been direr than it is now.
The management has had to come up with alternative ways of generating income. Among these, starting a YouTube channel and selling canned stones have been proving unusually successful.
Although the Choshi Electric has had its YouTube channel for over 4 years, it is only in recent times that it started getting attention thanks to the humorous content.
Videos like “Just before bankruptcy” or “Actual situation of a bankrupt company” have been racking up tens even hundreds of thousands of views, whereas older videos only got hundreds or thousands of views.
The company started selling stones by announcing that it had a new original product available in the Choshi Electric Railway online store – canned stones from the company’s train tracks.
The product was showcased by a female employee under the watchful eye of the manager.
The stones were marketed as great paperweights, collectible items for railway fans, or rudimentary weapons against burglars.
Even the presenter could not hold back her laughter as she showcased the caned stones but interestingly, the stones have become the company’s best selling item an can be found on its online store, at a price of $15.5.
According to the store page, the stones are collected from the railways operated by Choshi Electric, and washed and waxed before being packaged in metal cans. The number of rocks per each can varies on the size of the rocks.
Apart from an assortment of canned foods, Choshi Electric is also selling other memorabilia than train aficionados may find appealing, like plush train cart seats, train rail slices, and train track nails. But it’s apparently the canned stones that are getting people to open their wallets.
This is not the first time stones are being sold as Gary Ross Dahl made millions selling rocks as pets.