Key stories in this month’s issue of JapanConsuming, the essential monthly analysis and data update on Japan’s retail & consumer markets:
Who owns who in 2018: never have so many been owned by so few
When your home country population is shrinking, and the number of active consumers falling even faster, there are just three options to expand: take over your competitors, move into new business sectors, or build a new market overseas. Japan’s biggest players in consumer distribution are doing all three. Tracking this activity provides an insight into where the growth markets are, and where to expect the greatest amount of M&A activity in future. Over many years it also becomes clear which firms are good at this work – all of these activities require skills that are not innate to local retailers and wholesalers, and for every success story there is a failure too. The net result is clear to see: Japan’s trading companies, along with a couple of retail conglomerates, are the masters of the maze, building powerful consumer distribution groups that will grow further in influence.
Zozo: a ¥700 billion business in three years?
Start Today will soon be called Zozo, reflecting the growing power of the brand. It will expand its private label business, expecting to hit ¥200 billion in sales in three years, and underpinningan ambitious target for group transactions of ¥715 billion in the same time frame. This, however, is just the next step in CEO Yusaku Maezawa’s aim to become a ¥5 trillion retailer within a decade and one of the top 10 apparel retailers in the world.
Editorial: Seeking growth in a shrinking world
Seven Eleven’s new ‘net conbini’ to disrupt food retailing
Seven & I announced the next phase in its omnichannel strategy last month. It will rolloutits Seven Net Conbini service across Hokkaido from this summer and plans to expand to every one of its 20,000 stores nationwide from September 2019. The new service shifts away from its original aims with Omni7, putting a greater focus on Seven Eleven stores and a simpler, smartphone-only platform, and could well be the next game changer for online food retailing as a whole.
Airport shopping surges on tourist traffic
One of the best barometers for the impact of tourism on retail fortunes is the retail revenues of Japan’s airport operators. Last year, sales hit record levels again as passenger numbers jumped 12%.
CtoC market hits ¥1 trillion as Mercari heads to IPO
Mercari is an unusually modest company, claiming transaction levels of about ¥100 billion or so in recent years, but in the year to June is actually likely to hit nearly ¥400 billion, ¥100 billion more than Zozo, and is driving almost all the growth in the CtoC market. Not surprisingly it is choosing this moment to list on the Mothers market.
E-commerce breaks ¥16.5 trillion
METI’s annual e-commerce survey confirms strong growth in 2017, up 9.5% on the previous year. Apparel remains the largest sector, while the highest growth was in furniture and interiors. Retail sales of merchandise accounted for more than half the total, and e-commerce penetration is still on course to break 10% of total retail sales in the next decade.
Tokyo Base to launch ‘Public Tokyo’ chain as 3rdmajor channel
Fuelled by an IPO in 2015, Tokyo Base has been one of the fastest growing fashion retailers in the past few years thanks to the success of its two main chains, Studiousand United Tokyo, doubling sales in just the last two years alone. This Autumn itwill launch what it hopes will be a thirdpillar of growth, a new chain called Public Tokyo. Will it work?
Yahoo wants to lead e-commerce
Yahoo’s main shopping mall is still the third largest, but recent growth and links with Softbank mean it is almost as big as Amazon,and bigger than Rakuten for merchandise sales. By further tying its services with Softbank mobile, it plans to be number one.
Takashimaya Nihonbashi SC to open late September
Takashimaya was long seen as the most conservative of the big department stores, but it has also managed to avoid merging with rivals. The redevelopment of Nihonbashi best expresses how it believes it can best survive going forward, and this model is likely to be replicated in other locations too.
Aeon aims for ¥10 trillion by 2020
Aeon announced an ambitious medium termplan recently,and says its much improvedperformance in FY2017 is a sign of things to come. The plan calls for consolidated revenues of ¥10 trillion by 2020, and if all the various pieces come together, that not only seems likely but even conservative.
Sac’s Bar to expand again
Sac’s is a sizeable bag and accessories retailer, and after a year of consolidation is about to embark on a store expansion programme again, while adding premium sections to many stores selling more bag brands from Europe and the US.
Hamleys signs franchise deal with Bandai Namco
15 straight months of growth for Plaza stores
Korean fashion brand Imvely to open firststore
Herschel Supply: 30 stores in 5 years
Sazaby signs Reigning Champ of Canada, Canada Goose soaring
Stripe postpones IPO again
Karrimor sets up Japanesesubsidiary
Mitsubishi unveils new SC brand
Marui Imai loses south annex
Online brand Ameri doubles sales in a year
Record profits for Goldwin on North Face success
Sann Freres signs two Italian accessory brands
Ueniopens flagship for Italian shoesbrand Premiata
UK skate brand opens Japan online store
UK cosmetics brand Cowshed launches in Japan
Rakuten sees 11% growth in 1Q2018
Valortargets ¥600 billion
Oisix becomes Oira, forecasts 52% growth in sales
Amazon recruiting 1,000 new staff, to open newoffice
Nitori planning 1,000 stores in China by 2032
Lohacoup 95% in May
Retail Data: Cosmetics & jewellery 20% of DPS sales
Brands & Companies in this Issue
Circle K Sunkus
J Front Retailing
Japan Airport Terminal
Jupiter Shop Channel
Styling Life Holdings