Japanese firm lends out more umbrellas through vending machines

A Japanese beverage company increased the number of vending machines that come with umbrellas for lending in preparation for the upcoming rainy season.

Dydo Drinco Inc. announced last week that more vending machines across Japan will have umbrellas free for borrowing should a citizen find him or herself suddenly in a downpour, according to a report by The Japan Times.

The company has been helping commuters get home safe and dry since 2015. They partnered with the East Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co., which provide left-behind umbrellas. These left-behind umbrellas, plus new ones from Dydo, then get installed in a box attached to the side of vending machines.

Fukuoka, Yamanishi, Nagano, and Niigata are the latest prefectures added to the locations where free umbrellas in vending machines can be found.

A survey conducted in 2016 by Dydo found that 70 percent of the people who borrowed the umbrellas eventually returned them to the vending machines.

A fiscal tally by Sagami Railway Co. in 2017 found umbrellas were the most likely items to be left behind at railway facilities. As such, railway companies are able to provide around 4,000 umbrellas for Dydo’s vending machines every year.  Alfred Bayle /ra


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