January 2017 Highlights

Jan 18

FOCUS: E-commerce in Japan: 20% of retail by 2022
E-commerce will be Japan’s largest single retail channel by 2022. Having overtaken convenience stores to become the second biggest already in 2015, this is a forecast that few would challenge, although there are plenty of traditional retailers who are in deep denial. The only point of contention is just how far ahead e-commerce will be by then. Given the sea-change in consumer preferences and shopping behaviour already visible, the coming change will be profound, with JapanConsuming forecasting e-commerce share of retailing reaching 20% by 2022.

Editorial: Savings rate soars amid uncertainty

Picard sells out in 2 weeks
Aeon opened the first Picard frozen food supermarket in Japan in late November… and almost immediately ran out of product, forcing its operating subsidiary, Aeon Saveur, to postpone the opening of its third store.

Lohaco building exclusive ranges to compete with Amazon
Although still a small player in the overall scheme of things, Lohaco is one of the companies to watch in the e-commerce world. The online retailer is run by Askul, itself a subsidiary of Yahoo, and although it is the largest pureplay FMCG online store to date, it is a fraction of the size of the top EC players – although it has just doubled SKUs through a new marketplace, and was one of the fastest growing last year.

Tourist shopping to grow 1.3 times to ¥1.88 trillion by 2020
Tourism numbers continue to surge but spending last year contracted, leaving many retailers worried about the true benefits of tourism longer-term. They will be happy to know that last year was a blip, partly bought on by unprecedented spending levels the year before – the outlook for the next five years is much rosier and more sustainable, especially for those selling cosmetics, toiletries, fashion, and food.

Isetan-Mitsukoshi collaborates to reach new markets
Once again Isetan-Mitsukoshi is in the news for more tie-ups and acquisitions aimed at taking it beyond the core department store business. Last month it acquired a beauty salon chain and tied with a major publisher to boost direct marketing of apparel.

Barney’s New York new concept store doing well in Roppongi
As Seven & I looks to divest some of its more peripheral subsidiaries, one that might be well placed for sale is Barney’s New York. The fashion select shop chain became a wholly owned subsidiary only in 2015, and opened its latest store in Roppongi in September, introducing several new ideas. Reports suggest the new store is performing particularly well.

96% of young women now on LINE
JTB’s fourth annual survey of smartphone use says consumers are moving away from social media, using these platforms less to share with friends and family, and more as a source for product reviews when planning their purchases. LINE, which mixes social media with messaging, is different, with more than 96% of women in their 20s now using the app.

Aoyama Shoji rethinking casualwear, closing Calaja
Aoyama Shoji continues to seek new ideas to add sales outside its core suits business. Having failed to compete with other brands, it will now close its own casualwear chain, Calaja, and concentrate on developing the American Eagle brand in Japan.

Prices drop, spending falls, wages up just a smidge
While the government continues to pursue inflation, the same policy is leaving households increasingly disillusioned. Clever retailers, and especially those that are price competitive, are able to prise open plenty of wallets, but deflation for the CPI combined with a huge jump in fresh food prices, means consumers in general are spending less.

Mitsubishi sells shares in Himaraya
The sports retail market is increasingly concentrated in the hands of four retailers: Alpen, Xebio, Mega Sports and Himaraya. The last of these was the smallest for many years, but under Mitsubishi Shoji’s financial and supply chain support has moved past Mega Sports to the number three spot. Mitsubishi will now reduce its stake in the business, but remain the backbone, especially for fast-expanding private brands.

UR Agency creates major SC business through merger
Japan’s public housing corporation is also a major shopping centre developer and operator. Until now, its SCs were managed by eight separate businesses, but now 76 of them will be merged into one management company, with the hope for new synergies and a revival of what are some badly ageing properties.

Nousouken: linking farms directly with supermarkets
Japanese food distribution is undergoing rapid evolution. The traditional system of farming cooperatives and wholesale markets means farmers take only a small percentage of the retail price and produce takes three to five days to get from field to store. Now one company is finding growing success with an entirely new model that solves both problems.

Chinese fashion brand Icicle coming to Japan
Currency fluctuations aside, Japan remains a priority market for fashion brands. Until recently this meant Western brands for the most part, but this year will see the arrival of an upscale Chinese brand too.

IN BRIEF
Bubo Barcelona to launch in Japan
Consumers switching from prepaid cards to payment capable mobile phones
Ted Baker to re-open in Harajuku
Fila sales jump 18%
Spotify enters Japan, Music sales switching to subscription services
Roche Bobois to meet demand for high end interiors
Space World to close
Krispey Kreme Japan to open smaller stores
Union Pay to work more closely with Japanese retailers
Happy Socks opens in Harajuku
Charles & Keith stores close
American Apparel exits Japan
Tokyo apartment sales hit new low
Fred Segal to get new Japan store in March
Doutor follows Starbucks into drive-through roadside coffee stalls
Sogo Seibu links regional stores to cosmetics e-commerce
Sanyo Shokai president resigns amid falling sales
Parco to close in Urawa, but open Zerogate in Harajuku
Aeon expands Aeon Style chain
J Front to merge online division with Senshukai
JR East plans 2nd NEWoMan in Yokohama
Oshman’s to close in Harajuku
GLP confirms plans for Japan’s biggest logistics centre

Retail Data: Department stores down, but supermarkets boom

Companies & Brands In this Issue

ABC Mart
Adastria
Aeon
Alpen
Amazon
American Apparel
American Eagle
Aoyama Shoji
Apita
Apple
Askul
Avex
Barney’s New York
Bobbi Brown
Bubo Barcelona
Burberry
Calaja
Carrefour
CCC
Charles & Keith
Christian Lacroix
Coca Cola
Cosme Station
Crown
Cyberagent
Daimaru
Daiwa House
Daiwabo Advance
DeNA
Disneyland
Don Quijote
Doutor
Esso
Facebook
Fast Retailing
Felissimo
Fila
Fratelli Paradiso
Fred Segal
Georgia
Givenchy
Global Logistics Properties
Google
Happy Socks
Instagram
Isetan Mirror
Isetan-Mitsukoshi Transit
Ito-Yokado
Itochu
J Front Retailing
Japan Post
Japan Record Association
Japan Tourism Agency
Jean Paul Gaultier
JFR Online
Jill Stuart
JR East
JTB
Kao
Kasumi
Kenzo
Kirin
Kobayashi Seiyaku
Kobe Harborland
Kobo
Komeri
Krispey Kreme
Laox
LINE
Locondo
Louis Vuitton
M-Tsuhan
Magaseek
Marc Jacobs
Mark Styler
Marubeni Footwear
Maruzen
Mastercard
Matsumotokiyoshi
Matsuya
Mega Sports
Mi Cafeto
MI Transit
Miki House
Missoni
Mister Max
Mitsubishi Shoji
Mitsukoshi
Mori Trust
New Urban Life Holdings
Nikki
Nissen
Nittsu
Nousouken Corporation
NTT Docomo
Oisix
Omni7
Onward Holdings
Oshman’s
Parco
Paul Smith
Petit Picard
Pokemon GO
Prime Now
Radishboya
Rakubin
Rakuten
Resesh
Roche Bobois
Sanyo Shokai
Seibu
Seiyu
Senshukai
Seven Eleven
Shimamura
Shufunotomo
Socie World
Space World
Spotify
Spotify Japan
Starbucks
Start Today
Sumitomo Shoji
Takashimaya
Ted Baker
Tobu Store
Tokyo Midtown
Twitter
Union Pay
Uniqlo
UR Agency
Viber
Xebio
Yahoo
Yamada Denki
Yamato Transport
Yodobashi Camera
YouTube
Zerogate
Zozotown

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