March Top Stories

Mar 05

KEY STORIES IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE

Japanese becoming wealthier

There are now more rich people in Japan, with the number of ultra rich families increasing by 3.6% in the past two years, but a huge 67% since 2005. More than 1.3 million households now have assets over ¥100 million, presenting an attractive market at the luxury end. With many of these ageing as fast as the population in general, there are also opportunities to encourage more spending rather than leave it all to the taxman.

Editorial: Healthy Consumption

World to close 450 more stores

Like other big apparel firms, World is reeling from the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on middle market apparel. After one round of restructuring and layoffs that led to the closure of 360 stores and five brands last year, World will have another go, cutting 450 stores. This may still not be enough.

E-commerce platforms dominate retail in 2020

Thanks to Covid-19 and the more long-term shift to digital shopping, the big three e-commerce platforms, Amazon, Rakuten and Z Holdings, plundered the physical retail sector last year, grabbing a significantly increased share of consumption, but the wider battle for digital dominance isn’t over yet.

Soy-meat and health foods lead on Yahoo! Shopping

With people stuck at home, consumers have become far more conscious about eating well and healthily. This has benefited supermarkets, but also helped online food sellers. Yahoo! Shopping released a ranking of its top selling items over the past year, all of which fit this same trend. This also confirms the growing acceptance for buying perishables online.

Click & collect here to stay?

Home deliveries are convenient but many Japanese don’t like them because of privacy concerns and, more recently, fear of infections. As a result, click & collect is increasingly becoming the norm, leading to a proliferation of lockers at stations, convenience stores, drugstores, and now especially at supermarkets.

Matsukiyo-Cocokara merger heralds new era for drugstores

After more than a year of negotiations and preparation, Matsumotokiyoshi and Cocokara Fine finally confirmed their agreement to merge in October this year. The new company will be by far the largest in the drugstore sector. A lot of work has been done already to consolidate operations and the aim is to complete integration by 2023. The combined company will target sales of ¥1.5 trillion by 2026.

Mercari’s relentless innovation opens closets

If Mercari were a retailer, the CtoC platform would now be Japan’s 5th biggest vendor of apparel, symbolic of just how influential it has become and the significant role of used fashions in the wider market. And it is not just fashion. Mercari is now handling all manner of household goods, even food. It is also increasingly influencing the sale of new goods thanks to new services for major retailers in data flow and marketing. So big is its influence, even the Tax Office now has a Mercari department.

Look ups investment as sales fall

Although distributors of overseas fashion brands have been as affected as any by the current crisis, some brands have outperformed in the last year. What has really happened is that the performance of the best and the rest has widened.

Workman plans 400 Workman Joshi stores aimed at women

The Workman momentum continues as the workwear retailer carves out an increasing share of the casual apparel and sports/outdoor market. Its latest experiment to target women has been well received, leading to plans to expand the new banner quickly, a move that will transform Workman’s position in the market, resulting in significant growth in both sales and profits.

Aeon starts Live Commerce

Aeon is in the process of expanding its digital footprint. The company has long relied on tenant rents as a big part of its revenues and this is unlikely to change, and has also been slower than most to expand e-commerce and other digital systems. The pandemic has forced it to accelerate some plans and introduce some new ideas, many of which it has already trialled over in China.

FOCUS:

The Subscription Economy: keeping customers keen, while earning recurring revenues

The growth in subscription services is a global phenomenon that has been growing just as fast in Japan as anywhere else. While most attention is given to music and media subscriptions, many brands and retailers of consumer goods are finding that the subscription model can be a key part of their online strategy, delivering multiple benefits across sales growth, customer data, marketing, inventory management and margin improvement.

Retail Data: Department store sales down 30% in January

IN BRIEF

Folli Follie Japan goes under

Kobe Bussan is everywhere

Parco to close Tsudanuma and Shin-Tokorozawa stores

Sanyo Shokai calls for more redundancies

Base sees sales double in 2020

Onward ties with San Marino

Pal launches new brands

Asics aims for operating margins of 6%

Ad spend down except online

Aeon sells Katherine Hamnett comfy fashions

28th Costco store opens in April

Hotel Chocolat opens 19th store in Japan

Shopping malls down 22% in 2020

Oldest Louis Vuitton store gets spectacular renewal

Seria set for record year

Air Closet starts brand collaboration rentals

PPI makes important acquisition in USA

Hit Union buys UK’s George Cox

Itochu nabs Isabel Marant from Gallet

UA sees surge in online sales as stores decline

Viva Home launches new camping concept

Aeon takes new stake in Kusuri no Aoki

Nishimatsuya Chain soars

Tokyo population falls

Uniqlo & GU: 9% price cut across the board

Brands and Companies In this Issue

Adastria, 1, 6, 10

Aeon, 1, 7-8, 10, 12-13

Air Closet, 10, 17

Airbnb, 16

Amazon, 4-7

Ann Demeulemeester, 11

Aoki, 1, 8, 12-13

Aoyama Shoji, 17

Askul, 1, 5

Asplund, 16

Atre Ebisu, 18

Baby Job, 15

Balmuda, 15

Book Off, 10

Breguet, 17

Breitling, 17

Cainz, 12

Camp Gear, 12

Cap Gemini, 1

Carrefour, 8

Chanel, 17

Chloe, 17

Ciao Panic, 6

Clover Lab, 17

Cocokara Fine, 8, 12-13

Coffee Style, 16

Colette Mare, 12

Coronet, 11

Cosmos Yakuhin, 8

Costco, 8

Daiei, 4, 12

Daimaru Matsuzakaya, 17

Daiso, 12

Decathlon, 12

Demaekan, 7

Dentsu, 7

Discoat, 6

Don Quijote, 10

Dyson, 16

Electrolux, 16

Enter Atoyoro, 10

Familymart, 7, 9

Fast Retailing, 11

Folli Follie, 1, 3

Fred Perry, 11

Gallet, 11

Genky, 1

George Cox, 11

Glendale, 10

Godiva, 16

GooPass, 16

Green Spoon, 15

GU, 11

Gucci, 17

Gulliver, 17

Gyomu Super, 3

Hapycom, 12

Hio Ice, 16

Hit Union, 11

Hotel Chocolat, 8

Hublot, 17

Idea Online, 10

Il Bisonte, 11

Iris Ohyama, 16

Isabel Marant, 11

Itochu Shoji, 7, 11

Japan Post, 7, 9-10

Jesper Koll, 3

Kajitaku, 10

Karitoke, 17

Katherine Hamnett, 7

Kobe Bussan, 3

Komeri, 1

Lalaport, 12

Lavenham, 11

Lawson, 12

Laxus, 17

Lohaco, 5

Louis Vuitton, 9

Lumine Est, 18

Maison Osaka, 9

Marimekko, 11

Marni, 17

Marui, 4, 9, 17

Matsumotokiyoshi, 8, 13

Matsuya, 1

Matsuzakaya, 1

Megane Ichiba, 12

Megane Super, 16

Mercari, 1, 9-11

Merpay, 10

Metro, 8

Mezon, 16

Mila Owen, 10, 17

Mitsui Bussan, 12

Mitsui Fudosan, 12

Mitsukoshi, 1

Muji, 1, 16-17

MyLord, 18

Nano Universe, 10, 17

Netflix, 14

Nextmeats, 6

NTT, 9

Oisix, 17

Onitsuka Tiger, 7

Onward Holdings, 5

OpenLogi, 10

Optune, 16

Pal Group, 6

Pan Pacific, 10

Parco, 4

PayPay, 4-6, 10

Plus Oto, 6

Ponpondetta, 13

PostCoffee, 16

Pot Luck, 16

PPI, 10

Rakuma, 4, 10

Rakuten, 4-7, 9-10

Regi Go, 13

Renown, 17

Right On, 1

Rolex, 17

Ryohin Keikaku, 16

Sagawa, 7

Salyu, 6

Sanyo Shokai, 4

Scapa, 11

Seiyu, 7

Seria, 9

Seven Eleven, 6, 12

Shiseido, 16

Snaq Me, 16

Softbank, 5-6

Style Factory, 12

Subsclamp, 15

Subsclife, 16

Sugalabo, 9

Sugi, 8

Sundrug, 8

Tomorrowland, 11

TopValu, 7

Toyota, 17

Tsuruha Holdings, 8

Unicharm, 15-16

United Arrows, 1, 11

Unito, 16

Walmart, 8

Welcia Holdings, 8

Workman, 1, 12

Yahoo, 4-6, 10

Yamato Transport, 10, 14

ZHD, 5-6, 10

Zozo, 5, 11

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