JapanConsuming Headlines: February 2015

by Roy Larke on February 4, 2015

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All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month

FOCUS: Fashioning the home: the new road to riches?
In the 1980s and 1990s Japan became a fashion market like no other, with almost every generation developing a fascination with personal style and brands, and a concomitant willingness to spend. Until recently this interest in fashion as a form of personal expression, of presentation to the outside world, has entirely focused on fashioning the body. Today, though, there is a new and growing obsession: fashioning the home, a market with almost as much potential as the personal fashion market of the 1980s.

Isetan-Mitsukoshi: the premium services business
The pace of innovation at Isetan-Mitsukoshi recently has been unprecedented but it looks like being just the start. As well as small format stores, it is looking to grab a slice of the premium end of some lucrative service industries too, in weddings, travel and healthcare. It plans to open travel stores and ‘health care malls’ – the first truly relevant response to the potential of the senior market by a department store.

Tory Burch goes it alone, leaving Look to replenish 15% of sales
Tory Burch entered the Japanese market through Look in 2009 and has seen sales rise rapidly in the five years since. It will now take over Japanese distribution, giving it the margins needed to invest in building the brand further. For Look, the loss of such a powerful brand means a drop of 15% in turnover, but the associated glow from its tenure of the US brand, and its solid track record, has given it access to some strong brands with the potential to replace it.

Fashion Box invests in Replay
Italian fashion retailer Fashion Box plans a major investment in its Japanese subsidiary in order to boost the sales and brand awareness of its Replay denim brand. It will strengthen womenswear, expand department store concessions, and open dedicated footwear stores. It also plans to contract with regional distributors.

Supermarkets: small formats for SCs
Major supermarket chains are looking to open new small formats, ideal for shopping centres and creating a new challenge to convenience stores. In the past, supermarkets and GMS brands have generally preferred to open in their own SCs rather than those of independent developers but more chains are taking the decision to look for new store opportunities in third party SCs, especially around Tokyo. This is a major shift in strategy, and an opportunity for overseas brands.

JR unveils line up for Lucua 1100
JR West will open the second section of its Lucua SC in April, with eight Isetan stores and another 150 tenants, making it the biggest station SC in the country and providing yet more competition for the Umeda area in Osaka.

Burberry could triple stores to 55
Burberry hopes to double or triple store numbers in the next few years, following the end of its license with Sanyo. The UK luxury brand has already been working hard to build up its directly managed stores but will really start to expand from this year. The closure of the cheaper and more basic licensed stores will mean Burberry can at last shift its brand in Japan to match the global luxury positioning.

Seven & I saved by record profits at Seven Eleven – again
Seven Eleven has long propped up its sister companies in Seven & I Holdings, but the situation is getting worse rather than better. While the convenience store posted another record profit for the first nine months of FY2014, Ito-Yokado and Nissen, both important for the group’s omnichannel strategy, suffered major dips in performance yet again.

Shueisha expands fashion e-commerce
Shueisha is one of Japan’s biggest magazine publishers, but was relatively slow to start exploiting its brands and readership through e-commerce. It acquired a business from Jupiter Shop Channel in 2013 to catch up and as a result saw sales jump 30% in 2014.

Unicharm leads growing pet market
Pets are big business in Japan, with the market already the sixth largest in the world. Major international players like Mars and Nestle do well, but domestic companies are waking up to the potential. Unicharm entered the market late, having realised the need for disposable sanitary products for pets, but it is already the leader and expanding rapidly into pet foods too.

Pal’s new apparel supermarket set for US launch this year
Pal has only just unveiled its new ‘apparel supermarket’ chain Colony 2139 in Japan, but says it will open its first US store this year. As well as being created from scratch to offer well-designed mass market basics across home ware and fashion within one store, from the start Colony 2139 was conceived as Pal’s bridgehead to global expansion.

Fung Group invests in Japanese brand distribution
Fung Group has an important stake in the Japanese apparel industry through its ownership of Kanematsu Textile, focused on supply services and some brand distribution rather than develop its own brands. From January a name change signifies a shift in thinking that will see the Japanese subsidiary develop into a major brand distributor of both its own labels and overseas brands too.

Lawson ties with Tsuruha, but pulls back on supermarkets
In the past month, Lawson has confirmed a new deal with Tsuruha, the number three drugstore chain, but announced a surprise retreat in supermarkets. Tsuruha will become a corporate franchisee, using Lawson’s know-how and convenience store supply system to develop hybrid stores. At the same time, Lawson will close round 260 Lawson 100 and Lawson Mart stores over the next 12 months, a gift to Aeon’s ambitions in city centre food retailing.

Hats, scarves and coats: finding a market in Japan
Overseas brands continue to find a ready market in Japan even with a weak Yen, both through distribution deals and direct subsidiaries. The latest include Épice, Bark, Helen Kaminski, Orla Kiely and Pandora.

Fashioning the home: the new road to riches?
In the 1980s and 1990s Japan became a fashion market like no other, with almost every generation developing a fascination with personal style and brands, and a concomitant willingness to spend. Until recently this interest in fashion as a form of personal expression, of presentation to the outside world, has entirely focused on fashioning the body. Today, though, there is a new and growing obsession: fashioning the home, a market with almost as much potential as the personal fashion market of the 1980s.

Retail Data: A mild December and a solid year

News in Brief
Private brands now accepted by most consumers
Desigual expanding fast
American Eagle forecasts sales of ¥21 billion BY 2018
Sogo Seibu introduces regional private brands
Daimaru Matsuzakaya to launch PREMIUM ONLINE store
Supermarket sales fall 0.6% in 2014, convenience stores down 0.8%
ABC Mart opens high end store in Ginza
H2O Retailing expects excellent year
Aeon runs Australian fair to celebrate trade deal
Matsumotokiyoshi: 80 duty free stores
Mitsui to open outlet mall in Toyama
Isetan-Mitsukoshi aiming for ¥100-300 billion overseas
Watch market expands 20%
Cross Company expands cosmetics brand
Meiji to increase dairy prices by 6%
Kahma becomes DCM Kahma
Seven & I introduces latest dual brand beer with Sapporo
Wacoal to launch new chain, acquires San-ai division
Brilliance+ raises more funds to expand online diamond sales
Rakuten Ties with Japan Post
Tokyu to open Cube Plaza Harajuku in March
Rakuten and Yahoo vie for Japan’s best website
Uniqlo to launch in Canada
Tokyu refreshes Tama Plaza Terrace
Hankyu Umeda launches Valentines Day Chocolate campaign

Company and Brand Index this month
Numbers indicate page of report:

ABC Mart, 5
Acne Studios, 7
Actus, 15
Adastria Holdings, 14
Adidas, 5
Aeon, 3-4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 16
Aeon Style Store, 14
Ain Pharmaciez, 10
Alice & Olivia, 3
Amazon, 10-11
American Apparel, 9
Aoyama Shoji, 3
Asoko, 15-16
Asplund, 15
Awesome Store, 15
B-Company, 15
Bals, 16
Bark, 11
Beams, 11
Bic Camera, 11
Big A, 10
Bluebell Japan, 11
Brilliance+, 9-10
Brooklyn Charm, 5
Burberry, 1, 5-6
Cainz, 13
Colony 2139, 5, 8-9
Cross Company, 8
Cube Plaza Harajuku, 10
Daiki, 8, 13
Daimaru Matsuzakaya, 4
DCM Holdings, 13
Deco Home, 14
Desigual, 3
Disney, 5
DIY Factory, 15-16
Emporio, 15
Épice Japan, 11
Erewhon, 9
Familymart, 6, 10-11
Fenix International, 9
Flagshop, 7
Flexform, 14
Flying Tiger, 5, 15
Forever 21, 5
Forward Apparel Company, 9
FrancFranc, 16
Fung Group, 1, 9
Futako Tamagawa Rise, 15
Glamour-Sales, 15
Grandfront Osaka, 15
H2O Retailing, 6
Hands Be, 16
Hartz Mountain, 8
Helen Kaminski, 11
Homac, 8, 13
Hulic, 1
Idee, 14
Idee Shop Variete, 14
IKEA, 8, 13-14, 16
Indispendible Strasburgo, 5
Isetan-Mitsukoshi, 1, 5, 7
Ito-Yokado, 4, 6-7, 11
Itochu Shoji, 11
Izumiya, 6
Japan Post, 10
JR West, 5
Jupiter Shop Channel, 7
Kanematsu Textile, 9
Kitte SC, 7
Knick Knack, 15
Knoll Textiles, 14
Komeri, 13
Lauren Ralph Lauren, 11
Lawson, 1, 6, 10-11
Le Creuset, 15
Lixil, 14
Loft, 15-16
Lucua SC, 5
Lumine, 16
Mai Basuketto, 10
Maison de Fleur, 8
Marc Jacobs, 3, 7
Marimekko, 3
Mars Japan, 8
Maruetsu, 4, 10
Matsumotokiyoshi, 6, 10
Maxvalu, 6
Mirabella, 7
Misaki Shoji, 3
Mitsubishi Shoji, 3, 9
Mitsui, 4-7, 16
Mitsukoshi, 1
Momo Natural, 15
Muji, 9, 11, 14
Mungo & Maud, 15
Muy Mucho, 15
Nestle, 8
Nike, 9
Niko and…, 14
Nissen, 6-7
Nitori Deco Home, 14
Norman Hartnell, 9
Old Navy, 5
Orla Kiely, 11
Pal Group, 8-9, 15
Pandora, 11
R. O. U, 16
Rakuten, 10-11
Rep House, 15
Replay, 1, 3
Ron Herman, 14
Ryohin Keikaku, 14
San-ai, 9
Sanki Shoji, 11
Sanyo Shokai, 5
Sazaby League, 14-15
Scent of Varo, 8
Sense of Place, 10
Slow House, 15
Smart Medical, 1
Sogo Seibu, 4, 6-7, 11
Sonoma, 15
Spur, 7
Studio Clip, 14
Stylics, 15
Suntory, 11
Tabroom, 15
Tama Plaza Terrace, 11
Timeless Comfort, 15
Tokyu Hands, 11, 15-16
Tory Burch, 1, 3
Traditional Weatherwear, 5
Trinity Arts, 14
Tsuruha Holdings, 10
Unicharm, 1, 8
Uniqlo, 11, 15
Urban Research, 10, 14-15
Verite, 11
Wacoal, 9
Waki Woodwork, 15
Waterford Wedgwood, 15
Yagi Tsusho, 11
Yahoo, 10
Yakpak, 9
Yaoko, 4
Yu Nakagawa, 15
Yu-Shin Creation, 15
Yupack, 10
Zara Home, 15

JapanConsuming Headlines: January 2015

by Roy Larke on January 8, 2015

All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month

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FOCUS: E-commerce: ¥20 trillion by 2018
While traditional formats struggle with consumption tax increases, saturated markets, locational problems, and low consumer confidence, Japan’s budding e-commerce (EC) channel continues to grow rapidly. Despite the stereotype imagined by people who’ve never been here, Japan is not really the high-tech land where everyone has an engineering degree, doodles artistic works of manga over the breakfast table, and spends their free-time programming complex smartphone apps and discussing the wonders of monetary economics. But if anything defines Japan, it’s a love of shopping and the drudgery of long commutes, two things that e-commerce brings together in harmony.

Seven & I seeks more suppliers for fast expanding own brands
Sales of Seven & I private brands already exceed ¥700 billion a year. The company is now expanding the number of dual branded lines with major manufacturers ranging from apparel to food and across its empire from convenience stores to Sogo Seibu. This seems like a win-win situation, giving Seven & I access to well-established manufacturer brand names, while suppliers from Japan and overseas get their products sold in large quantities in one of the biggest retailers in the country.

The Missus market: population growth driving fashion opportunity
The obsession with youth sometimes seems even stronger in Japan than other markets even though the population is shrinking. Recently suppliers and retailers alike have been waking up to the fact that one of the few segments set to grow in the next decade will be over 40s and 50s women: the Missus market. This segment currently has too few fashion shopping options, relying on major department stores at the top end, but then stuck with regional department stores, GMS chains and independent stores for everything else. Savvy retail-led businesses that target this market are booming.

Itochu signs Accessorize
Itochu has distribution and license deals with a variety of bag and accessories brands such as Hunting World and part-owns Le Sportsac, but most of its brands are mid to upper end with little mass market presence. It has just signed a deal with the UK’s Accessorize chain to fix this.

Household savings rate turns negative, poverty rates rising
Despite receiving a mandate to continue the Abenomics experiment, at least from the 35% of the electorate who could be bothered to vote, the government faces increasing pressure to get the economy back on track. The policies of boosting export income while raising demand at home are looking increasingly incompatible as the Yen continues to weaken. At the same time, inflation remains stubbornly low, with only key import commodities prices rising significantly.

Aeon expands specialty formats
Aeon continues to abide by the ‘keep it in-house’ rule, designing a myriad of small formats meant as tenants for its own stores and mall properties. Now several of these smaller brands will be spun off as new subsidiaries, with expansion to locations outside the direct control of Aeon Group.

Costco: 50 Japanese stores
Although widely dismissed as too un-Japanese to succeed when it first opened in 1999, Costco’s wholesale clubs are a roaring success in Japan. In 2015 it will take its chain to some 24 stores nationwide with ambitions for double that number. The membership club format may be unusual in Japan, but then it is not a common format anywhere, and the mixture of bulk buying, unique product ranges and a fun shopping experience continues to attract converts. The low prices help too.

Farfetch launches in Japan
London-based Farfetch, a fast growing fashion e-commerce business, has just opened in Japan. It hopes to increase the number of Japanese shoppers at its more than 300 boutiques around the world, and encourage more Japanese boutiques to sell globally.

FrancFranc switches to the over 40s
The home fashion market is booming, but despite this, Bals, one of the largest retailers of interior accessories, has seen sales fall in recent years. Part of its problem is new competition from cheaper chains offering similar ranges of pop home goods targeting 20s and 30s women such as 3Coins and Flying Tiger. It now sees a greater opportunity in the more serious home fashion market among home owners in their late 30s and 40s.

Takashimaya introduces direct to airport delivery for duty-free
Tourist shopping is now an increasingly important market for many retailers from high end to low end. Last month Takashimaya added a delivery-to-airport service to encourage tourists to get more shopping done throughout their trip rather than just near the end of their visit. The chain is even offering the service in more remote stores.

Online proving hard for supermarkets: Summit bows out
The benefits of taking existing supermarket businesses online seem significant and there is clear customer demand for convenient, home delivery services, at least in the major conurbations. But successfully implementing an online supermarket business is expensive and subject to lots of competition. Summit, the Tokyo based chain owned and operated by Sumitomo Shoji, has decided to throw in the towel, demonstrating just how tough it can be.

United Arrows seeks growth online
United Arrows gets a healthy level of sales from online sources, but loses much of the margin, not to mention customer data, to third party e-commerce operators. In order to encourage more customers to shop with it directly, it is pioneering a clever tool developed in Sweden that helps to minimise sizing errors.

Isetan-Mitsukoshi opens highway service area stores
It is telling when Japan’s once most exclusive department store chain lends its name to a shop in a highway service area. Rather than a sign of decline however, it is testament to Isetan-Mitsukoshi’s renewed vigour, and its determination to bring its products to its customers wherever they are.

IN BRIEF
Muy Mucho launches in Japan
Tomorrowland signs Canadian lifestyle brand
Daiei name to disappear by 2018
Aeon to build more large scale SCs
A shop window for overseas jewellery designers
Zennisshoku to open supermarkets in depressed towns
Askul sees major growth in 1H2014, Lohaco adds Body Shop and Seijo Ishii
Shibuya 109 in Hong Kong
Isetan Shinjuku updates baby & maternity floor
Futako Tamagawa Rise to add annex in Spring
Uniqlo to open in Antwerp
Look opens Vera Bradley Japanese flagship
Mitsubishi Estate confirms new Nagoya landmark with Isetan as anchor
Toiletry market up 1.2%
Uniqlo sues journalists for articles on work practices
Sogo Seibu sells local lucky bags
Isetan-Mitsukoshi introduces commission-based pay
Amu Plaza Oita to open this Spring with 183 tenants
JR East expands online
Kusuri no Aoki raises operating profit 25% in 1H
Japan Post IPO announced
Benetton closes Omotesando Store
Albis acquires JA stores in Fukui

Company and Brand Index this month
Numbers indicate page of report:

A Colle, 6
A-Coop, 11
A-Price, 15
Accessorize, 1, 4
Aeon, 1, 3-4, 6, 10, 16
Akachan Honpo, 16
Albis, 11
Amu Plaza, 10
Apple, 7
Aramis, 3
Askul, 5-6, 14-15
Asos, 11
Auden, 5
Bals Tokyo, 9
Barneys Japan, 16
Beams, 11
Belluna, 15
Benetton, 11
Bic Camera, 15
The Body Shop, 6
Charlie’s, 1
Cocoku, 7
Costco Japan, 7
Cour Carre, 3
Cycle Spot, 6
Daiei, 3-4
Desigual, 7
Dinos, 11
Doclasse, 4
Dries Van Noten, 3
Edion, 15
Egoist, 8
Emporio, 3
Enoteca, 6
EpsonDirect, 14-15
Expasa Fujikawa, 11
FarFetch, 1, 7-8
Fast Retailing, 7
Felissimo, 15
Fitfit, 4
Flying Tiger, 8
FrancFranc, 1, 8-9, 16
Fuji Keizai, 15
Futako Tamagawa Rise, 7
Hunting World, 4
IKEA, 6, 8
Ikspiari, 3
Infinitye Ventures, 8
Isabel Marant, 3
Isetan, 6, 8-9
Isetan-Mitsukoshi, 1, 9, 11
Ito-Yokado, 10, 15-16
Itochu Shoji, 4
J Front Retailing, 9
J Period, 9
Japan Post, 11
Jason Wu., 4
Jean Paul Knott, 3
Joshin Denki, 15
JR East, 10
JR Kyushu, 10
Kakaku.com, 15
Kanpo Life Insurance, 11
Kenkocom, 15
Kinokuniya, 10
Kirin, 1
Kojima, 15-16
Komiya, 4
Koos, 3
Kusuri no Aoki, 10
Laglaia, 3
Lanvin, 4
Lapine, 3
Le Sportsac, 4
Leilian, 4
Limited Edition, 1, 3, 8-9
LINE, 4, 7, 15-16
Locondo, 13, 15
Loft, 6, 8, 16
Lohaco, 5-6, 14
Look, 7
Magaseek, 11, 15-16
Maison Ullens, 3
Maji, 4
Marui, 15
Maya Magal, 5
MI Plaza, 11
Ministop, 6
Mitsubishi Estate, 8
Mitsui, 8
Mitsukoshi, 3, 9
Mixi, 15
Mizuone, 3
MO851, 3
Monsoon, 4, 11
Muji, 15
Muy Mucho, 3
Nemika, 4
Neopasa Shimizu, 11
Nissen, 13, 15-16
Nitori, 6, 8
Nomura Research Institute, 13
NTT Docomo, 11
Oisix, 15
Outlet Peak, 16
PC Bomber, 15
R. O. U., 6
Rachel Entwhistle, 5
Radishboya, 15
Rakuten, 13, 15-16
Recods, 6
Seijo Ishii, 5-6
Seiyu, 10
Seria, 8
Seven Eleven, 1, 16
Sofmap, 15
Sogo Seibu, 1, 3, 8-9, 16
Soukai Drug, 15
Start Today, 13, 15-16
Stylife, 16
Sumitomo Shoji, 10
Summit, 1, 10, 14
Takashimaya, 1, 9
Toho Cinemas, 10
Tokyu Hands, 6, 10
Tokyu Malls Development, 6
Tomorrowland, 3
Uniqlo, 6-8, 15
United Arrows, 11, 16
Urban Research, 11
Vera Bradley, 7-8
Virtusize, 11
WTW, 9
Yahoo Japan, 15
Yamada Denki, 6, 15
Yodobashi Camera, 15
Z-Chain, 5
Zara Home, 7-8
Zennisshoku, 5
Zozotown, 4, 11, 16

JapanConsuming: Headlines December 2014

by Roy Larke on December 6, 2014

Click here for all brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month

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Leading shopping centre sales rise 4.2%
Shopping centres had a great year in FY2013 thanks to higher spending on fashions, food and lifestyle goods. The top selling SCs fared much better than the sector as a whole, which was up 2.6% overall but down 0.5% on a like for like basis. The increase in spending before the tax hike on non-essential high ticket items such as fashion and the sharp rise in tourism helped lift station and other SCs at transport hubs. As a result JR-operated SCs made up nine of the top 15 SCs by sales densities. Aeon continues to dominate overall, and to such an extent that some consumers are now being dubbed Aeonists to describe the breadth of transactions with parts of the Aeon empire in work, rest, play, and even death.

Don Quijote launches Lidl-style chain to attack convenience stores
Don Quijote, the country’s largest discount chain, is launching a new format designed to take on convenience stores and mini-supermarkets. Using know-how gleaned from its acquisition of Nagasakiya, it is confident it has solved the problem of food distribution but will also sell apparel, toys and electronics too. The idea looks like a small version of Lidl, and original enough to appeal to the growing number of price conscious suburban shoppers.

Editorial: Japan’s not so brave, old world?

Try before you buy e-commerce launches with Matsuya as partner
A new app is helping retailers link customers with online shopping options, benefiting both the e-commerce operator and retailer alike, while helping customers try before they buy in a convenient location.

Isetan Osaka and Lucua plan unveiled – a trial for more small Isetan stores
JR West will unveil a new section to its Lucua SC at Osaka Station next Spring, taking over 30,000 sqm of sales space from Isetan-Mitsukoshi. The latter will no longer have a contiguous sales space of its own, forced instead to operate separate sales areas as small stores. Ironically, this may turn out to be great news for Isetan, helping trial its plans for a string of distinct small format chains. These will include accessories stores, and from next year even an Isetan Wedding chain.

Robotic fashion styling
Software which makes perfect recommendations to fashion consumers has been the holy grail of online fashion stores for years, but while recommendation engines have improved, this is largely based on the likes and dislikes of peers with similar purchase patterns. A new start up claims its solution offers much better accuracy, promising a new way for fashion brands to get in front of the eyeballs of Japanese consumers.

Seven Eleven: the donut issue
Seven Eleven began the rollout of new counter displays selling six flavours of donut last month. Although seemingly very minor news, this is so much more than just the latest merchandising idea from the country’s largest retail chain. The new idea not only complements the massively successful ‘counter coffee’ introduced last year, it also shows again how Seven Eleven will disrupt food and food service retailing. Seven Eleven is yet again pushing its rivals to make a choice between emulating the sector leader or continuing along a slower route to greater diversification. Everyone else selling donuts in Japan is in for a very rough time. What product category is next?

Targeting the over 50s
There are few large, dedicated fashion chains for seniors despite being the fastest growing market in terms of population. Leilian is one, but the firm has struggled to innovate, focussing instead on managing the transition in ownership from Renown to Itochu. Under the trading firm’s new lead it has spent the last two years revamping supply chains and is now beginning to launch more appealing brands to suit the modern mindset of today’s late 40s and 50s women. These stores include a large number of international brands, presenting new opportunities for fashion labels selling into this segment.

Yamada Denki: the community store
Yamada Denki’s efforts at building up online sales have been hampered by a high level of strategic inertia which continues to emphasise store-based sales. Now, leveraging its growing network of independent franchisees, Yamada plans to kill two birds with one stone, using the franchise network as a new sales arm to reach local customers and boost online sales at the same time, expanding sales not only of electronics but household goods, food and books.

United Arrows’ star waning?
United Arrows was the investors’ darling only nine months ago when new initiatives to increase demand tracking and to attract new groups of younger male consumers seemed to be making headway. Since April, however, customers are turning away from the brand, partly as a result of price increases 12 months ago, and the generally strong shift to lower prices by rivals on the one hand, and higher end stores targeting the new rich on the other.

Matsukiyo to introduce duty-free and EDLP formats
With competitive pressures building, Matsumotokiyoshi is looking to maintain its lead by introducing new store formats, expanding the range of non-prescription merchandise like cosmetics and household goods. The move comes in response to Aeon’s desire to consolidate its drugstore operations in the coming year, making it the largest player in the sector when all GMS and other non-specialty drugstore format sales are included. Matsukiyo will also join a host of other retailers in rolling out duty-free services aimed at tourists.

Adastria to merge Point and Trinity Arts in bid to find new growth
Adastria’s main Point subsidiary hit a wall in the last few years, with much slower levels of growth after a decade of rarely being beaten. To fix this, it acquired fast growing retailer Trinity Arts, which continues to power ahead, up 42% last year. It will now merge the two businesses, hoping that some of the latter’s magic will rub off on Point. At the same time it is investing in expanding the key Niko and… chain to sell a much greater proportion of overseas fashion labels.

Start Today claims 10 million users, but closes outlet site
Start Today continues to close trial operations which have failed to take off as hoped while continuing to upgrade its core business. Above all it is focused on beating Amazon and other competitors in customer service, now extending free same day shipping to Kansai, a service which has helped boost membership in recent months.

News in Brief
Spain’s Uno de 50 in Japan
Tourists reach record numbers
Spain’s Munich shoe brand in Japan
Department Stores hoping for premium Christmas
Itochu signs Derek Lam and Cacherel
Red Mango frozen yoghurt launches in Japan
Aeon begins exclusive sales of Picard
Senior consumer targeting expanding rapidly
H2O expands cosmetics chain to men
Daiei ratifies Aeon takeover
Muji to introduce self-scanning
Japan falls into recession, second tax hike postponed
Sagawa launches large scale logistics services
Nihonbashi renaissance plans continue around Takashimaya
Keidanren: winter bonuses to rise 5.7%
Japan’s Etsy launches mobile app
Biggest Stradivarius store in world opens in Osaka
Seria jumps 10.5%
Keikyu unveils new men’s floor
L.L. Bean opens in Aeon Laketown
Direct mail market hits ¥5.8 trillion

Company and Brand Index this month
Numbers indicate page of report:

beno Harukas, 16
Adastria Holdings, 10
Aeon Group, 9
Aldi, 1
Amazon, 5, 8, 11
Aquagirl, 5
Belle Maison, 3
Bershka, 10
Burberry London, 7
Cacherel, 4
Circle K Sunkus, 6
Clinique, 6
Collect Point, 11
Colourful Board, 5
Converse Footwear, 7
Coronet, 4, 7
Cosmos Berry, 7
Cosmos Yakuhin, 10
Creema, 9-10
Cyberagent, 10
Daiei, 5, 7
Derek Lam, 4
Dmet Label, 3
Don Quijote, 1
Dries Van Noten, 4
Dunkin Donuts, 5
Duskin, 5
Ecute, 6
Edifice, 5
Estnation, 4
Etsy, 9-10
Excelsior, 6
Fab, 9
Familymart, 6
FG Joy, 5
Flying Tiger, 4
Forever 21, 4
Fruit Gathering, 5-6
Galloria, 6
Glenroyal, 11
Global Work, 10
Goodday Park, 6
Grand Tree Musashi Kosugi, 6, 14
Grandfront Osaka, 4, 13
H2O Retailing, 5
Hasekou, 4
Hawaiian Donuts, 6
HEP Five, 13
Hyke, 4
Inditex, 8, 10
Isetan Mirror & Make, 6
Isetan-Mitsukoshi, 3-4, 7, 9, 16
Ito-Yokado, 6, 9
Itochu Fashion System, 4
Itochu Shoji, 4, 6-7
JADMA, 11
Jason Wu, 7
Joix, 7
JR East, 13-14
JR West, 3, 16
Keikyu Department Store, 10
Keio, 5
Krispy Kreme, 5
Kyo Yasu Do Big Conbini, 1
L. L. Bean, 11
Lala Terrace, 16
Lalaport, 6, 14
Lanvin, 7
Lazona Kawasaki, 13
Lidl, 1
Lucua, 1, 3-4, 13, 16
Lumine Est, 14
Lumine Ikebukuro, 13
Lumine Shinjuku, 14
Lumine Yurakucho, 14
Magaseek, 11
Mai Basuketto, 1
Maison Martin Margiela, 4
Margaret Howell, 4
Mark IS, 6, 14
Marni, 4
Massimo Dutti, 10
Matsumotokiyoshi, 9
Matsuya, 1, 3
McDonalds, 6
Mitsubishi Estate, 14
Mitsubishi Estate-Simon, 13
Mitsui Real Estate, 14
Mr. Donuts, 5-6
Mujirushi Ryohin, 7
Munich, 3
Nano Universe, 4-5
Nemika, 7
Nina Ricci, 7
Nishida Tsusho, 3
NTT Docomo, 4-5, 11
Old Navy, 4
Onward, 16
Outlet Peak, 11
Parco, 14
Picard, 5
Pieri SC, 10
Pinkoi, 10
Rainbow Spectrum, 3
Red Mango, 4-5
Ron Herman, 9
Rosebud, 5
Sagawa Kyubin, 8
Samantha Thavasa, 4
Sanei International, 4
Sanki Shoji, 4
Seibu Sogo, 6
Seijo Ishii, 6
Senshukai, 3
Seria, 10
Shiseido, 5
Start Today, 1, 11
Stradivarius, 10
Studio Clip, 10-11
Suntory, 3, 6
Takashimaya, 8-9, 14
Tokyo Solamachi, 13
Tokyu Plaza, 6
Toray Diplomode, 4
Toshin Kaihatsu, 9, 14
Trinity Arts, 1, 10-11
TSI Holdings, 4
United Arrows, 1, 8-9
Viktor & Rolf, 4
Walmart Seiyu, 10
Watashi Plus, 5
Yamada Denki, 1, 7
Zara, 10
Zara Home, 10
Zozotown, 11

JapanConsuming Headlines: November 2014

by Roy Larke on November 4, 2014

All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month

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Focus: Convenience Stores: and then there were three
Convenience stores seem to go from strength to strength. This year will set another new record for the number of new stores added to the three largest chains alone – and these three already account for some 75% of the entire market. With saturation point reached, the sector is now looking to the next step, with all three of the largest chains trying out new strategies for the day, very soon, when adding yet another 1,000 stores a year simply isn’t viable. As part of this, Seven Eleven could become the hub for sales of everything from nappies to high end fashions.

Isetan-Mitsukoshi to expand import brand business
As part of its diversification drive, Isetan-Mitsukoshi plans to turn its small import business, Club 21 Japan, into a significant player in overseas brand distribution. This will feed both its own department store sales floors, as well as its up coming select shop chain. At the same time the influence of Isetan Shinjuku in fashion marketing will provide a powerful launchpad for any new brands it signs.

Editorial: Aeon offers a new age?

Cross Company opens fairtrade fashion chain, targeting ¥1 trillion globally
When a retailer launches a new chain and says it will have sales of more than ¥1 trillion one day, suppliers and competitors take notice- although such extreme targets are a little too common among leading apparel chains these days. But when that company has a record as the fastest growing fashion retailer since 2000, there is a chance the target may turn out to be realistic. Then when the same chain says it will only sell fairtrade and sustainably sourced merchandise, it becomes intriguing.

Seiyu to upgrade 50 stores, close 30
Walmart has been operating Seiyu for 14 years, and although estimated sales place Seiyu well down the rankings compared to its heyday, there are growing signs of confidence. Seiyu is looking to redesign more of its existing stores, further improving what is one of the best fresh produce operations in the country. It will also close some 30 poor performing stores, another sign that it is confident in growing volumes in other ways.

USM Holdings: Aeon’s new base for a national supermarket chain
Aeon has taken the next step towards its goal of consolidating the supermarket sector, beginning with the key market of Kanto. The retailer is tying with Marubeni to establish USM Holdings in March 2015, which in turn will take over ownership of Maruetsu, Kasumi and Maxvalu Kanto, all major Kanto supermarket chains. Together the operation will be larger than any other supermarket chain in the country, but this is just the first step. It will then start canvasing for other supermarkets to build a nationwide chain.

Opportunities in online fashion marketing proliferate
The online fashion space continues to develop and diversify offering more opportunities for fashion brands and retailers to not only reach new consumers, but to do so in an ever more targeted way.

H&M to launch Cos this month
H&M will bring a fourth chain, Cos, to Japan this month. Cos is a completely different target market from H&M, Weekday and Monki, however, with higher price points and a combination of quality design and yet still accessible prices that could spell trouble for department store brands from Japanese apparel firms.

Muji gaining from weak Yen
Muji, perhaps Japan’s most prominent retail brand globally, is reporting a major boost from overseas income. Like so many of its counterparts, Muji is a brand that relies on offshore production for much of its merchandise range, and the weakened Yen has hit its domestic profitability. Overall, however, consolidated operating profit for 2Q2014 was up 26% on last year, entirely down to ever improving, and expanding, performance overseas.

Consumption Tax widens supermarket performance gap
The effect of the April Consumption Tax increase has been far milder than many expected, but it has still hit more unprepared and intransigent retailers. This is most evident in the supermarket sector, where many chains survive on the thinnest of margins. While in most regions chains have indeed struggled as consumers worry over prices and suppliers pass on cost increases, in Kanto some have done surprisingly well and overall like for like sales have increased as a result.

Mash Style Lab: fastest growing fashion retailer slows down
Mash Holdings has been the fastest growing fashion retailer for the last two years, and has ambitious plans to expand further both at home and overseas. However, while it will double store openings this financial year, it expects sales to rise just 20%, not bad, but half the growth rates of 2012 and 2013.

Aeon’s drugstore revolution continues
Aeon has begun full absorption of its Welcia Holdings affiliate, the start of plans to shake up drugstore retailing, with Welcia and three other major drugstore chains merged by the middle of 2015. This will create the largest single chain in the country, overtaking Matsumotokiyoshi, and put Aeon in a position to make even further gains through increasing buying power and more uniform branding, impacting the cosmetics, health, household goods and drugs markets significantly.

Takashimaya Tamagawa: another refit
Takashimaya Tamagawa has been one of the most successful department stores over the last two decades, and continues to hold its own despite a wealth of new competition in the area around Futako Tamagawa. It continues to update its sales floors, introducing new tenants and directly managed space to keep the locals keen. No wonder its management is being tasked with development of Takashimaya’s other principle stores.

Fast Retailing upgrades e-commerce
With retailers now firmly in control of their supply chains, and e-commerce growing quicker than any other sales channel, the major brands are just beginning to initiate moves to take better control over logistics functions too. Last month Fast Retailing completed a deal with Daiwa House aimed at improving distribution both at home and overseas.

Retail Data: Department store sales flat in September

News in Brief
Gap to open 11 Old Navy stores this year
Tourists spending 40% more this year
Charlie’s juices launch in Japan
Treasure Factory acquires Brand Collect
Survey suggests wives should stay at home
Sanrio launches first original Mister Men character
Takashimaya to open in Thailand
Tokyu to open 30,000 sqm Kawasaki SC in 2016
New SC to be test bed for Seven & I specialty stores
Poiray relaunches in Japan and France
Seven Eleven to revamp takeaway coffee offer
Machida reborn
Locondo attracts more investment
Nishi Nippon expands Incube variety chain
Department stores roll out more small format ideas
Samsonite brings Hartmann to Japan
ABC Mart forges ahead with 15% growth in 1H2014
Lalaport confirms Tachikawa opening in late 2015
Tiffany opens first stand alone store in five years
Four new stores for Charles & Keith

Company and Brand Index this month
Numbers indicate page of report:

A-Coop, 14
ABC Mart, 10
Aeon Group, 10
Aeon Hapicom, 10
Akachan Honpo, 6, 15
Alexander Wang, 1
Amazon, 11, 15116
Anna Sui, 1
Aoi, 1
Asahi Beverages, 15
Bals, 15
Barneys, 15
Belc, 5
Black Barrett, 1
CFS Corporation, 10
Chiyoda, 10
Circle K Sunkus, 14116
Cocokara Fine, 10
Cos, 1, 7
Cosme Kitchen, 9
Cross Company, 1, 314
CyberAgent, 6
Daichi Keihin, 6
Daiei, 5
Daiwa House, 11
DeNA, 6
Desk My Style, 9
Diver City, 3
Doubleday, 9
E Hyphen World Gallery, 3
Earth, Music & Ecology, 314
Ecos, 8
Familymart, 4, 8, 13116
Fast Retailing, 1, 11
FrancFranc, 6
Fray I. D., 9
Fujitsu, 3
FurFur, 9
G-Foot, 10
Galloria, 6
Gap Japan, 3
Gelato Pique, 9
Goodday Park, 6
Grandtree Musashi, 9
Hands Select, 9
Hankyu, 9, 14
Hartmann, 10
Hello Kitty, 5
HEP Five, 4
Iemo, 6
Inageya, 5
Incube, 9
Inditex, 11
Isetan-Mitsukoshi, 1, 11
Ito-Yokado, 4, 6
Jafco, 8
Kasumi, 5, 8
Keita Murayama, 1
Kent, 6
Kodansha, 6
Koe, 314
Komeri *****
Lalaport, 4, 10111
Lawson, 4, 8, 13116
Lawson Mart, 8, 14
Life, 415, 8
Lily Brown, 9
Little Miss Hug, 5
Locondo, 8
Loft, 6, 15
Look, 1, 4, 7, 9110, 13, 16
Mammina, 1
Mango, 4
Marubeni, 5
Maruetsu, 415, 8
Maruetsu Petit, 8
Mash Holdings, 9
Matsumotokiyoshi, 10
Maxvalu Chubu, 9
Maxvalu Kanto, 5
Mery, 6
Mila Owen, 9
Ministop, 15116
Misaki Shoji, 1
Mister Men, 5
Muji, 1, 7
Mulberry, 1
Neil Barrett, 1
Nishi Nipppon Rail, 9
Odakyu, 9111
Okuwa, 819
Old Navy, 3
Onward Holdings, 11
Ozaki, 8
Parco, 9
Peroli, 6
Plaza, 6, 9
Poiray, 7
Proenza Scouler, 1
Samsonite, 10
Sanki Shoji, 1, 7
Sanrio, 5
Sanyo Shokai, 7
Sazaby League, 7
Seibu, 6, 15
Seicomart, 14
Seijo Ishii, 14
Seiyu, 1, 4, 8
Seven Eleven, 314, 718, 13116
Seven Net Shopping, 15
Siam Takashimaya, 5
Snidel, 9
Sogo Seibu, 15
Starbucks, 7
Start Today, 6, 11
Sugi Holdings, 10
Summit, 8
Sundrug, 10
Sunnymart, 14
Takashimaya, 1, 5, 11
Three F, 14115
Tiffany, 11
Tohan, 15
Tokyo Gas, 8
Tokyu Hands, 9
Topvalu, 15
Toshin Kaihatsu, 5, 11
Tower Records, 6
Treasure Factory, 4
Tsuruha Holdings, 10
Uniqlo, 11
Uny, 16
USM Holdings, 5, 8
Vasily, 6
Vivi, 6
Walmart, 4
Wear, 3, 6
Welcia Holdings, 10
Yagi Tsusho, 1
Yamada Denki, 6
Yaoko, 8
Zennisshoku, 5
Zozotown, 6

JapanConsuming Headlines: October 2014

by Roy Larke on October 6, 2014

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All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month

Apparel Retailing FY2013: the best year in 15
Apparel sales powered ahead last year, driven by consumer demand, excellent retailing and a stronger emphasis on value rather than price. With the exception of GMS stores sales rose across all formats – even at department stores. Displaying its boundless dynamism, the apparel industry once again included retailers achieving exceptional sales growth, with no fewer than four firms up more than 40% and 16 more than 10%. With little room for price competition and much of the nation replete with apparel retailing, all agree the challenge now is to improve product and marketing, and to create chains that stand out from the crowd.

RIP: Aeon to delete Daiei
Aeon will shortly make Daiei a wholly owned subsidiary and delist the company’s stock. This means that Japan’s biggest retailer from 1972 to 2000 will finally meet its end – a fate it had previously avoided thanks to government support and funding. The simultaneous confirmation that Aeon will also wipe out the Daiei brand has saddened many in the industry, but Japanese retailing has changed to the point that few will have been surprised.

Editorial: Unassailable Aeon

Aeon’s station mall model to launch in Okayama
Aeon’s SC expansion has been unprecedented in the last 10 years, so much so that new SCs pass in a blur. Aeon makes many claims for new malls, with each one presented as the latest, mould-breaking new model, but in Okayama in December Aeon will genuinely open one of its most important SCs in years. It is a model for its planned takeover of station retailing across the country, making Aeon an ever more important partner for international and domestic brands and retailers in food, fashion, and the home.

Brunello Cucinelli Japan expands
Luxury brand Brunello Cucinell is now in charge of its own distribution in Japan. Sales are up and much needed investment in upgrading department store concessions will continue this year culminating in the opening of a flagship in Ginza in Autumn 2015.

Isetan-Mitsukoshi: small store expansion continues, emphasis on clearer targets
Isetan-Mitsukoshi continues to take direct control of parts of its sales floors and expand its new network of small format, specialty retail stores. In its department stores, new sales areas are being turned into self-managed concessions and mini shopping centres in order to clarify the positioning of each branch to better suit local traffic. The latest areas include a select shop for the over 60s in Nihonbashi and a mini SC for working women in Kyushu. Meanwhile, specialty chain MI Plaza will see a significant boost to store numbers. All of this means opportunities for overseas brands.

Start Today cancels free shipping
Start Today introduced free shipping in 2012 in the face of growing competition from Amazon, which had already lured some of its key merchants like United Arrows to its mall. The service was always going to be expensive for a business that relies on the consignment model, and last month it capitulated, introducing charges again for low value shipments. Instead, however, it is offering free shipping for same day delivery around Tokyo, the first time an online store has introduced such a service.

Shosha invest in e-commerce
The rapid growth in e-commerce is leading to huge demand for state of the art distribution facilities and support. With Amazon Japan leading from the front, all the major players, and even the smaller ones, are now expected to provide short lead times at very low cost to the final customer, but few have the volume to justify their own, large DCs, creating a growing market for logistics providers. Enter the four big trading houses.

Lawson to acquire Seijo Ishii
Lawson will add its second major acquisition for the year this month, taking over leading upscale supermarket chain Seijo Ishii. It is no surprise that Mitsubishi’s convenience store subsidiary should want to add another supermarket banner to its portfolio, although Isetan-Mitsukoshi is disappointed to have been overlooked.

Working population declines by 4 million in 5 years
Depopulation in Japan often seems like old news, but the real consequences are only now beginning to be fully understood. Already medium sized cities in the outer regions, especially in the north, are being hit by population decline so rapid that there’s no longer enough money to sustain even some basic services, and it is about to get worse. Depopulation does not just mean fewer consumers, it also means higher local taxes, further reducing consumers’ capacity to spend on non-essential items. For overseas firms working in Japan it’s increasingly important to understand not only where the problem areas will be, but equally where opportunities will arise in a small number of growing municipalities.

Sazaby sells Starbucks stake
Sazaby is selling its majority stake in Starbucks, a business that transformed Sazaby’s turnover, although it still managed to retain its identity as a quirky fashion to interiors business. By selling off Starbucks Japan, it can return to its roots, but still with plenty of potential growth from chains such as Flying Tiger. It will add more overseas brands, and with its bulging coffers and record of past successes, would make a great partner.

Familymart signing more cross-retail deals
With Seven Eleven and Lawson adding around 1,000 new stores a year, and Lawson rapidly diversifying out of just convenience store retailing, number three chain Familymart is fighting to keep pace. To make up for this it is now looking at joint venture tie-ups to allow it to expand its brand and supply chain more widely. Will this be enough to keep it in the game?

Distribution industry offers full-time contracts amid staffing crisis
The distribution industry is one of the biggest employers of part-time labour, relying on flexible, low paid people to run stores and supply centres. The problem is that there are fewer and fewer people around to do these largely mundane jobs – many young people see working in restaurants as far more fun. Now companies are looking for solutions to the short-fall by offering later retirement and the chance to jump from part-time to permanent contracts.

Retail Data: Department Stores steady, down just 0.3%

News in Brief
Metrocity opens pop up store in Takashimaya
Yagi Tsusho signs Helen Kaminski and Lorena Antoniazzi
Singapore’s Croesus expands in Japan
Itochu Shoji signs Casabella
Kintetsu downgrades profit forecasts as Abeno Harukas flops
Post Office renews store concepts, move towards retailing
Uniqlo to double childrenswear sales
Ginza6 begins tenant selection
Household financial assets rise as cautious consumers save
Ikebukuro gets new SC
Duty free sales up 30% at Takashimaya and 50% at Tokyu
Ageless fashion for mothers and daughters
Sogo trials virtual fitting rooms
JR East renovates Mitaka Station SC
Bic introduces free wifi for tourists
Seiyu announces price guarantee for veggies
Import brand market up 20%
Aeon to acquire Red Cabbage
Seven & I joins with Fancl for new PB
Muji to enter India
World plans more accessory and home stores

Company and Brand Index this month
Numbers indicate page of report:

A-Coop, 10
Abeno Harukas, 4
Adastria Holdings, 13
Aeon, 1,2, 7,8, 10,11, 13, 15
Aeon Mall, 3
Amazon Japan, 7
Aoki Holdings, 15
Athena New York Girl, 5
Atmos, 7
Atre Vie, 8
Bape Kids, 5
Beams, 5
Berluti, 6
Bic Camera, 9
Big A, 1
Brunello Cucinelli, 4
Casabella, 4
Charles & Keith, 4
Ciaopanic, 4
Circle K Sunkus, 10
Cox, 15,16
Credit Saison, 10
Croesus Retail Trust, 3
Cross Company, 3, 15,16
Dila, 9
Disney, 6
Doshisha, 4
Dunoon, 4
Egoist, 16
Espritmur, 15
F. T., 15
Familymart, 10
Familymart A-Coop, 10
Fancl, 10
Fast Retailing, 5, 11
Fendi, 6
Flying Tiger, 9
Food Maison, 3,4
Forever 21, 13
Fray I. D., 13
Freek’s Store, 4
Fukulog, 6
Gelato Pique, 13
Global Work, 15
Grameen, 11
GU, 13, 16
Hakuhodo, 7
Havaianas, 4
Helen Kaminski, 3
Hello Kitty, 6
HMV, 8
Honeys, 16
Inditex, 13
Isetan, 5, 7
Ito-Yokado, 11, 13, 15
Itochu Shoji, 4
Izumiya, 10
J Front Retailing, 6
Japan Imagination, 16
Japan Post, 5
JR East, 8
Keikyu, 15
Kintetsu Department Store, 4
Koe, 16
La-Boo, 6
Laura Ashley, 15
Lawson, 718, 10
Le Style Kids, 5
Le Style Lady, 5
Limited Edition, 8
Little Marc Jacobs, 5
Loft, 10
Lorena Antoniazzi, 3
Mac House, 16
Malie, 9
Maruetsu, 1
Marui City, 9
Maruoka Shoji, 16
Mash Holdings, 13, 15, 16
Matsuya, 15
Metrocity, 3
MI Plaza, 2, 5
Mina Perhonen, 5
Mitsui, 7
Mitsukoshi, 5, 7
Muji, 10,11, 15, 16
Mycal, 1
Niko and…, 13
Nissen, 15
OPA, 3
Orihica, 15
Pal, 16
Picard, 2, 4
Printemps Ginza, 9
Queens Isetan, 7
R. Newbold, 4
Rachel Ashwell, 9
Rakuten, 7, 15
Raquel Allegra, 9
Red Cabbage, 10
Reins International, 7
Ryohin Keikaku, 15
Salvatore Ferragamo, 2
Sazaby League, 9
Seibu, 4, 8, 10, 13
Seijo Ishii, 718
Seiyu, 9, 11, 15
Sense of Place, 15
Seven Eleven, 10, 15
Shimamura, 16
Snidel, 3, 13
Sogo, 8, 10, 13
Solaha SC, 5
Starbucks, 9
Start Today, 6, 13, 15
Stella McCartney, 5
Sterne International, 3
Studio Clip, 13, 16
T-point, 10
Taka Q, 15
Takashimaya, 2, 7, 15
Temasek Holdings, 7
Tenmaya Department Store, 3
Tod’s, 2, 3
Tokyo Midtown, 5
Tokyu Hands, 4
Toppan Printing, 8
TopValu, 15
Trinity Arts, 13, 16
Uniqlo, 5, 6, 11, 13, 15, 16
United Arrows, 3, 5, 6, 16
United Cinemas, 8
Urban Research, 4, 8, 15, 16
Wacca Ikebukuro, 7
Walmart, 1
Wear, 5, 6
World, 2, 11, 13
Yagi Tsusho, 3
Yaoko, 7
Zara, 4
Zara Home, 4
Zozotown, 6
Zozoused, 6

JapanConsuming Headlines: September 2014

September 6, 2014

Click here to Subscribe Now All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month Focus: Department Stores FY2013: a blip or a sustained recovery? Sales at department stores rose for the first time in 16 years in 2013 and by a solid percentage too. The uplift came from a splurge of high ticket consumption prior […]

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JapanConsuming Headlines July/August 2014

July 8, 2014

Click here to Subscribe Now All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month Focus: Sales peak or new beginning? Retail results FY2013 FY2013 retail results were heavily influenced by both renewed consumer confidence and increased spending spurred by the pending tax increase, but they also represent a new benchmark for the industry. Whereas a […]

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JapanConsuming Headlines: June 2014

June 8, 2014

Click here to Subscribe Now All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month Focus on Drugstores: convenience stores for women Drugstores were mostly small, independent stores or small regional chains as recently as 10 years ago. Today they make up one of the most dynamic retail sectors in the country. In volume it is […]

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JapanConsuming Headlines May 2014

May 6, 2014
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JapanConsuming: Headlines April 2014

April 7, 2014

Click here to Subscribe Now All brands & companies covered in JapanConsuming this month Polarising Market: winners and losers in Japan’s leading city markets Japan is facing a major drop off in population over the next 40-60 years – and the decline has already begun. Government forecasts expect a reduction of as much as a […]

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