CG 3

With so much of Japan being connected to the country’s excellent public transportation network, a lot of people get by just fine without a car. Stores are generally located near rail and subway stations, making it easy to carry home daily essentials like a bottle of Kirin, six-pack of Asahi Super Dry, or 24-can case of Ebisu beer.

Still, there are times when you need to transport a purchase or package that’s too large or bulky to haul by hand, which is where Japan’s home delivery industry comes in. With multiple companies all fighting for customers’ business, each organization has to do something to differentiate itself from its rivals, which one outfit routinely does with adorable cat paw gloves.

Last year, women across Japan were in a flutter over the strapping young men of Sagawa Express’ ads. With handsome already taken, competitor Kuro Neko Yamato is looking to make cuteness its competitive advantage.

Kuro Neko translates as “black cat.” The company’s founders picked the name to be evocative of a mother cat gently carrying its baby by the scruff of the neck, implying that Yamato handles its customers packages with just as much care. The image is even used for the company’s logo.

CG 5

But while everyone in Japan is already familiar with the above image, many still haven’t picked up on a subtler feline design cue from Yamato. Since deliverymen and woman spend every day picking up and carrying boxes, the company has its own cloth gloves that workers can use.

CG 4

Aside from the company name, the back of the hands feature a paw print. The real cuteness, though, comes when Yamato employees turn their hands over.

CG 6

Wow, it’s like every kitty from one of Japan’s cat islands just walked across his palms! The prints aren’t just decorative, either, as they’re rubberized to provide extra grip.

Needless to say, visits from Yamato deliverymen have been making cat-lovers’ days since word of their distinctive gloves began spreading. Aside from the blue and pink prints seen here, there’s also said to be a green version out there.

However, as delighted as the customers may be, opinion on the gloves seems to be divided among the deliverymen themselves. Some say the small size of the paw prints mean they don’t provide enough grip, and others feel they’re too hot to wear during the summer months, though you could say the same thing about any gloves.

Sadly, customers can’t buy the gloves for themselves, although surprisingly, Yamato employees who want a pair have to. The company doesn’t automatically provide each deliveryman with a pair, and those who want to add them to their professional wardrobe have to pay out of their own pockets.

Still, they seem to be a big hit among younger workers, who find the playful touch gives them just the boost they need to get through a day at their physically demanding jobs.

▼ Because cat paws are cuter than callouses

CG 1

Source: Naver Matome
Top image: Exblog
Insert images: 37sha, Easter Egg, TWPL