June 2017 Highlights

Jun 12

Vend me please, I’m Japanese

Vending machines are so widely accepted here that even luxury brands sometimes make use of them. In April Chanel’s Ginza Six store introduced a new, high end lipstick vending machine, with each item dispensed with its own branded Chanel bag. Another overseas brand, Coca Cola, is also the largest single vending supplier in the country. Drink sales still make heavy use of vending machines, although convenience stores have encroached into the market in recent years. With labour problems in stores, along with new technologies making vending more sophisticated even for fashion brands, the channel is about to make a major comeback and could become an option for all kinds of purchases of both merchandise and services.

Mitsui SC sales hit record high
Mitsui Real Estate posted record sales for the last two years and plans investment of some ¥1.5 trillion in commercial developments through 2018, which will include several major Lalaport SCs, including the first in Aichi.

Editorial: Nothing at all to worry about!

Aoyama’s growth hampered by losses for American Eagle business
Aoyama leads the suits market and is actually increasing market share within this contracting business, but it remains nervous of the long-term outlook and continues to invest in its diversification strategy. A part of this is its franchise for American Eagle Outfitters, but this remains a loss-making concern, and Aoyama is struggling to make it work.

Mitsukoshi Ginza Duty-Free makes ¥1.8 billion loss
Inner city duty-free was supposed to be the department stores’ panacea, especially for those tired old upper floors, with many chains initially planning to jump on the duty-free bandwagon. However, Mitsukoshi Ginza’s duty-free store, the first significant example, stalled from the start and looks increasingly like a white elephant.

Most department store majors post higher sales in 2016
Trading remained tough for department stores in 2016, especially smaller regional stores, but four of the big five managed some growth at least. Store closures and transfers of ownership will mean a tougher year ahead overall, even if same store sales hold up.

Discount growth: 100 Yen Shops to add 500 stores in 2017
The Great Wage Squeeze during the last two decades means more households are finding it harder to make ends meet. Japan’s 100 Yen Shops are helping out, and plan to open at least 500 shops this year alone.

Rakuten losing merchants
Rakuten is still the largest online shopping mall in Japan by gross transaction values, but it has seen minimal growth in vendor numbers in recent years. Worse, while smaller vendors are increasingly attracted to cheaper options such as Yahoo! Shopping, larger brands are now deserting the platform too, choosing to switch to their own online stores or other platforms that provide more flexibility and greater marketing potential.

Big retailers eager to become Tsutaya franchisees
Culture Convenience Club, Japan’s biggest video rental chain, foresaw the death of its business model early. It has spent the past six years repositioning itself as a provider of experiential shopping and is now one of the most sought after solutions for large retail spaces, both new and old. Even department stores are keen to franchise the company’s ideas.

World sales fall 7.4% but profit up
World, like other apparel groups, is having to work hard to counter th twin problems of tougher competition for less apparel space in SCs, and leeching sales of clothing at department stores. It is slashing brands and stores, but on the plus side, profits are up.

Marui using omnichannel to drive private brand sales
Marui used to be defined as a department store, but by the end of 2018 all its buildings will run on shopping centre contracts. It is also one of the most innovative retailers in developing true omnichannel retailing, all while its own private label business is taking a greater and greater share of sales.

Convenience stores respond to rising labour costs
All three of Japan’s biggest CVS chains had another great year, but with the cost of part-time labour growing rapidly, the format’s franchise system means that high profits at HQ are no longer balanced quite so well with profits at store level. The operators are at last having to cut their margins.

Aeon targeting 57% increase in operating profits in 3 years
Aeon has announced ambitious targets for the medium term to February 2020. The expected 16% increase in revenues and 57% increase in operating profits is a surprise, especially given that it is forecasting only modest improvements in the current financial year, allowing the group just 24 months to meet its goals.

Tourist footfall to Tokyo up 10% in 2016 but spending falls
Nearly 25% of 50 year old men unmarried
Itochu signs Italian coat brand Moorer
Lawson expands stake in Poplar
Sazaby League signs US jewellery brand Hoorsenbuhs
Askul acquires Charm pet supplies
Premium Outlet sales fall for first time
Parco starts rebuild of Parco Shibuya
Akachan Honpo launches new chain
Supermarket sales up 1% in April
Daiei to sell Dom Dom Hamburger
Uny follows rivals with token price cuts
United Arrows: 60% of online sales from Zozotown
Seiyu adds 214 dairy and bread products to its EDLP ‘Price Lock’ campaign
Convenience store sales up 0.3%
Sotetsu to expand supermarket chain
Yamada Denki starts exclusive sales of Funai TVs
Seven Eleven to use facial recognition to protect personal data
Nojima tests robot store assistants
Seijo Ishii to open in Tohoku
Seiyu refreshes online store

Retail Data: CVS up 3%, DPS too for first time in 14 months

Companies and Brands in this Issue
Aeon, 1, 5-9, 11
Akachan Honpo, 6
Amazon, 6
American, 1, 3
American Eagle Outfitters, 3
Aoyama Shoji, 3
Apple Pay, 14
Asahi Beverages, 14
Askul, 5
Bals, 3
Bandai, 14
Bic Camera, 7-8
Big Yosan, 9
Bitcoin, 14
Cainz, 8
Calaja, 3
Can Do, 5
Chanel, 12
Circle K Sunkus, 9-10
Coca Cola, 9, 12-14
Coronet, 4
Culture Convenience Club, 7
Daiei, 7, 11
Daimaru-Matsuzakaya, 4-5
Daiso Sangyo, 3, 5
DHA, 6
Dom Dom Hamburger, 7
Dydo, 13-14
Eagle Retailing, 3
Edion, 8
Estnation, 5
Expocity, 1
Familymart, 7, 9-10
Feels International, 8
Fit Studio, 9
Franfranc, 3
Fuji Keizai, 5
Funai, 10
Genta, 4
Google Pay, 14
Hankyu-Hanshin, 4
Hokuo Kurashi, 6
Hoorsenbuhs, 1, 5
Isetan-Mitsukoshi, 4-5, 7
Ito-Yokado, 6
Itochu, 4
Izumi, 7
JR East, 11, 14
Jumble Store, 3
JVMA, 12, 14
Kawasaki Lefront, 9
Kinokuniya, 7
Kintetsu Department Store, 7
Kintetsu Railways, 14
Kitamura Camera, 8
Kurashicom, 6
Lala Garden, 1
Lalaport, 1
Lawson, 4, 9-11
Lazona, 9
Levi Strauss Japan, 3
LINE, 5, 7, 10, 13-14
Lopia, 9
Magaseek, 8
Marui, 1, 9
Matsuzakaya Nagoya, 4
Mister Minit, 3
Mitsubishi-Simon, 5-6
Mitsui Real Estate, 1, 9
Mitsukoshi Ginza, 4
Moorer, 4
Next Blue, 3
Nissei Foods, 9
Nitori, 11
Nojima, 10-11
Otsuka Wellness Vending, 13
OwnDays, 6
Parco, 6
Poplar, 4
Rakuchin Kirei Shoes, 9
Rakuten, 1, 6, 8, 14
Rembrandt Holdings, 7
Ron Herman, 5
Saha Group, 8
Sazaby League, 5
Seicomart, 4
Seijo Ishii, 11
Seiyu, 7-9, 11
Seria, 5
Seven Eleven, 9-10
Smile, 6, 14
Sogo Seibu, 4-5
Sotetsu Railways, 9
Sotetsu Rozen, 9
Spotify, 14
Square Enix Crysta, 14
Starbucks, 8
State of Escape, 5
Suica, 14
Suntory, 13
T-Point, 7-8
T-Site, 7-8
Takashimaya, 4, 7
Three F, 4
Tobu Department Store, 11
Tokuma Shoten Publishing, 7
Tokyo Metro, 9
Tokyu Plaza Ginza, 4
Tsutaya Books, 7
Tsutaya Electric, 7-8
United Arrows, 6, 8
Universal Language Measures, 3
Uny, 7
Vannie Tokyo, 6
Wakuwaku Book Land, 6
Walmart, 10
Watts, 5
World, 1-2, 8, 14
Wowma, 9
Yahoo, 5-6
Yamada Denki, 10
Yamazaki Bread, 9
Yomiuri Land, 13
Zozotown, 8