April 2018 Top Stories

Apr 05

FOCUS: Fashion: still the biggest e-commerce category – and still growing fast
Our recent focus on e-commerce (JC1801) showed just how rapidly the channel is growing in Japan. One of the main drivers of this growth has been fashion, with apparel the biggest category overall by value and one of the top two fastest growing categories for the last five years. Yet still fashion retailers and brands have a very mixed record when it comes to grasping the opportunities and threats of what is already Japan’s biggest distribution channel, meaning most apparel firms sell through the mixed brand malls that dominate the market. Some retailers, though, are resisting, while others are wresting back control and share.

Laox and Locondo join forces to acquire Shaddy
Laox and Locondo started talking about collaboration a year ago and last month formalised a wide ranging agreement on sales and product development. Now the partnership has set up a fund and acquired Shaddy, a gift marketing firm with 3,000 affiliate stores.

Editorial: No holding back new retail business

3.1 Phillip Lim takes over Japan operations
3.1 Phillip Lim entered the Japanese market through a joint venture 10 years ago, but like many other brands, now wants control of branding and retail operations, and will buy out its partner this year.

Subscription fashion: more Japanese renting clothes and bags
Millennials don’t care much for car or home ownership, but for smaller purchases like fashion they have tended to follow the habits of generations past. With mobile technology making sharing so much easier and the practice more familiar, more are turning to fashion rental services, and now major retailers like Marui and Aoki are adding their weight to the trend. With one site claiming 70% of customers are new to the brand, renting offers clear marketing benefits to brands too.

Isetan-Mitsukoshi closes Club 21
Seven years ago Isetan-Mitsukoshi developed a plan to become a leader in importing and distributing overseas brands. Like other recent ideas, this one too has now been discarded, and both import businesses, Club 21 Japan and Mammina, will close, with their brands transferred to other distributors.

Toys R Us in Japan unaffected by US liquidation – for now
Toy and game lovers will be relieved that Toys R Us Japan remains “unaffected” by the collapse of the retailer’s US and UK operations. Japan is the company’s largest market in Asia – making it suddenly the largest in the world – but it faces exactly the same pressures here that caused its parent to fail in the West.

Aeon to cull underperforming subsidiaries
Aeon looks to have begun closing down or selling off subsidiaries that have lost too much money over too long a period. While 200 of its roughly 300 subsidiary companies make a reasonable profit, the rest don’t, and some are a major drag on Aeon’s consolidated profits. Although long overdue, analysts think Aeon has finally lost patience and many are expecting more companies to follow the recent divestment of Wondercorp and Laura Ashley.

Nishimatsuya Chain plans 1,000th store this year
Nishimatsuya Chain, the childrenswear to toys and accessories retailer, is not the most glamorous business, dazzling neither with its merchandise nor its growth. It gets there in the end, delivering solid growth over the long-term, and is now dominant in key regions.

Yamada Denki entering home furnishing market
It has been only six months since Yamada started converting existing consumer electronics stores to include home furnishing and interior retailing, with 17 stores complete. Last month it introduced private branded furniture and interior goods targeted at single person households, and is aiming to take a significant share of the home interiors market.

Health food market begins to take off through natural foods
Consumers are increasingly interested in a wide variety of health foods, especially natural ones that avoid the problems of processed alternatives. In addition to the long-standing market for supplements and enhanced products, more consumers now want products that will do less damage to their long-term health. More and more retailers are listening –except, possibly, for Seven Eleven.

New Uny concept in Yokohama  
Uny is in the throes of being repositioned by Itochu and Don Quijote, and thanks to these new partners, it has opened its most impressive new shopping centre for years, and the first in Kanagawa.

TSI Holdings attempts brand revival, 50% of sales to come from online
Superficially, TSI Holdings looks like a dyed in the wool apparel wholesaler like Onward or Sanyo Shokai, but it has the most ambitious strategy to diversify beyond fashion while focusing fashion operations on a smaller number of brands. It is also the most advanced in shifting sales to online.

IN BRIEF
Mitsui Tokyo Midtown Hibiya opens, Chanter renewed
Household spending up, wages down
Tokyu rebrands 109 Mens in Shibuya
Nitori records 19th year of net profit growth
Aeon ties loyalty points with Isetan-Mitsukoshi
Coca Cola to launch first alcoholic drink in Japan
Look revises forecast on stronger sales
Aeon outlet mall to open in April
Nespresso opens new concept boutique
2nd Street and Komehyo begin sales on Zozo Used
Tokyu plans 53,000 sqm Grandberry Park SC
More children’s nurseries available to employees
Izumi to acquire Seiyu mall in Himeji
Lalaport Nagoya announces key tenants
Yaoko opens yet another flagship
Seiyu begins sales of Australian rice
Instagram beats other services with 48% rise
600 sqm Gucci store to open this month
Rizap acquires Wondercorp and Sankei Living Newspaper
Home reform increasing

Brands & Companies mentioned in this Issue
Adastria
Aeon
Aeon Style
Air Closet
Akachan Honpo
Alexander Wang
Alpen
Amazon
Anna Sui
Aoki Holdings
Aoki Super
Apita
Apita Food Market
Banana Republic
Baycrews
Belc
Bic Camera
Big A
Bio-ral
Bluebell Japan
Buyma
Caloriemate
Capcon
Carrefour
Chiyoda
Chu-hai
Coca Cola
Cox
Criteo
Crooz
Crosset
Crown Jewel
Cyber Agent
Daiei
Daiso
DeNA Shopping
Dinos-Cecile
Disney
Don Quijote
Eastland
Ebay
Edion
Enigmo
Enoteca
Facebook
Familymart
Fashionwalker
Fast Retailing
Fatburger
Faux Pas Paris
Fril
Fuji Keizai
Gap
Godiva
Grandberry Park
Gucci
Ichiyama Mart
IKEA
Inageya
Instagram
Intage
Isetan Mirror
Itochu Shokuhin
Izumi
Izumiya
Japan Imagination
Jeansmate
Jimmy Choo
Kaden Smile Kan
Kasumi
KDDI
Komehyo
Konaka
Kumazawa Books
Lalaport
Laura Ashley
Lawson
Laxus
Lexus
Life
LINE
Lohaco
Louis Vuitton
M. Tsubomi
Magaseek
Mammina
Mango
Marimekko
Mechakari
Mercari
Midtown Hibiya
Ministop
Misaki Shoji
Mitsubishi Shokuhin
Mitsukoshi
Morinoen
Muji
Mulberry
Musve
Nano Universe
Nespresso
Nestle
Nishimatsuya Chain
Nissen
Nitori
NTT Docomo
Ogitsu
Oishi Anshin
Oisix
Omakse Teikibin
Onward Holdings
Origin Toshu
Panasonic
Parco
Phillip Lim Japan
Picard
Pompadour
Proenza Schouler
Qoo10
Radishboya
Rakuchin
Rakuma
Rakuten
Rentio
Repetto
Rizap
Rosebud
Salada-Kan
Sankei Living Newspaper
Sanki Shoji
Sazaby League
Seijo Ishii
Seiyu
Shaddy
Shimamura
Softbank
Starbucks
Start Today
Stripe International
Sugi Yakkyoku
Suji Drug
Takashimaya
Talbots
Tin Ho Wan
Toho
Tokyo Base
Tokyo Style
Tokyu Corp
Toys R Us
TSI Holdings
Twitter
UCC
Uniqlo
United Arrows
Uny
Urban Research
USMH
Walmart
WAON
Welcia
Wondercorp
Wowma
Yagi Tsusho
Yahoo
Yamada Denki
Yamaguchi
Yaoko
Zozo

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