Highlights Feb 2015

Feb 04

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:

[columns count=”4″]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
[/columns]

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