Which Comes First: Popular Shop or Trendy Items?

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Move over "Long Tail" theory. RanKing RanQueen only wants the most popular items in existence for its convenience stores throughout Tokyo. As if Japan wasn't already steps ahead of every major consumer trend, the RanKing shops, owned by Tokyu, are all about selling only the fad of the minute.

Writing for Business 2.0, Tim Hornyak says the Tokyu group relies on a number of sources for its complex ranking system that decides what comes in and what goes out. He spoke with Masahiro Yotsumoto of Dentsu Center for Consumer Studies who thinks it's a very clever way to exploit a consumer's need to be part of the hippest, now-est trend, be it ear-cleaner, toothbrush or CD. "It's no surprise that when an item is ranked tops, its sales tend to double."

I think in high school we called this popularity by association. Question is, who will benefit more: RanKing or the items it offers?
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