December Top Stories

Dec 03

Baycrews grows online sales to 50% of turnover
Baycrews is showing how it’s done. It is tying stores and online to create real omnichannel retailing and making best use of staff knowledge and experience, an increasingly crucial asset in the competitive online fashion market.

Editorial: A real festive season in 2021

B8ta opens 3rd Japanese store
B8ta is a US showrooming chain that is largely focused on gadgets in the US but its third Japanese store has shifted to categories that draw in more Japanese consumers, including beauty products and food. The first two stores had footfall of 500,000 in the first year and the company sees demand for at least 10 Japanese stores.

Workman relaunches Workman Pro
Workman has unveiled another retail banner, this time for the professional tradesperson. Workman Pro will be used to rebrand existing Workman stores and will also have its own store brands.

3Coins proves a hit in pandemic and moves into food
3Coins has been one of the best performing retailers during the pandemic, building up a loyal following thanks to its diverse range of popular products across beauty, fashion, the home, and now even food. Sales tripled in the decade to last year but look set to increase a further 25% this year alone.

Familymart taking the lead in developing unmanned conbini
Familymart is fast becoming the leading retailer for unmanned stores. It has a target of 1,000 unmanned stores by 2024 and is rolling out new shops regularly, although most remain experimental as it searches for the best model.

Oisix Ra Daichi: still expanding
Oisix Ra Daichi sees sales continue to rise, up 18% in the first half of the year, although additional promotional costs and the cost of expanding production and distribution capacity meant profits fell short of 2020.

Nitori and Muji: cutting prices as inflation nears
Consumers have long believed that inflation is about to return – an idea promoted by Abenomics since 2012 despite a stubborn lack of actual progress. Now, analysts think real inflation might be just around the corner and consumers’ fears could suddenly be justified. With this in mind, some larger, financially stronger retailers have begun to announce a series of price cuts, recognising consumers’ worries about prices and looking to reassure and gain market share at the same time.

Descente: the next Goldwin?
Descente is about the same size as Goldwin but has traditionally depended for half of its sales on South Korea. New owner, Itochu, is working to change this fast, with ambitious plans to create a set of brands strong both at home and abroad by copying much of Goldwin’s playbook, particularly its investment in retail and online.

Used clothing goes mainstream
Mercari and used clothing retailers may have enjoyed several straight years of record growth but, according to government surveys, there is a lot more market left to leverage, with the average person having 25 items of unused clothing in their closets. In the used market, it is rarely demand that inhibits growth but the lack of supply. As retailers and CtoC platforms improve access and smooth trading further, and consumers become more cognisant than ever of the environmental implications, the used market is set to expand much further.

OK Super now online and moving into prescription drugstores
OK Super opened its first pharmacy in its Kohoku store in May with plans to have four in operation by the end of the year. It also opened its first online store this summer. The Every Day Low Price supermarket chain broke ¥500 billion for the first time last year and is now looking to use its popularity to expand further.

Seven Eleven to build fleet of 200 mobile stores
Seven Eleven has been running a small fleet of vans as mobile stores since the triple disasters of 2011. It now plans to expand this network, aiming to meet the needs of far flung customers in the provinces who have few alternatives to buy foods. The first new van set off in November and 100 more will go into operation over the next four years.

New service to rationalise D2C supply chains
The D2C market may be booming but the supply chains being used are still structured to meet the needs of more slow-moving retail distribution. AnyMind, a specialist in this area, claims it has a new system that can both reduce turnaround times for orders to less than two weeks and also identify areas to raise quality.

FOCUS: Shopping Centres 2020-21 review: a shocking year
2020 was the second year in a row to see a net fall in the number of SCs in Japan. Sales levels also fell to an unprecedented degree. The good news is that 2021 has been better, with even city centre malls reducing sales falls by 20 points. But the crisis has exacerbated underlying pressures from depopulation, labour costs, the shift in consumer interest to experiences, and e-commerce. A significant clear out of the SC sector is now occurring as more uneconomic properties close, but investment in good locations by the better developers shows a determination to match consumer sentiment by creating entertainment destinations offering multiple experiences.

IN BRIEF
Disney opens biggest Japan store, JR East opens another
More than half of consumers shopping online
Highest wholesale prices since 1981
Amazon Hub lockers in 1,800 locations so far
Hankyu to shrink overhead on ¥4 billion loss
Cosmetics market up 3.3% in 2021
Valor acquires Osaka supermarkets
Accessible bread gifts
JINS up 6.8%
Arnold Palmer: 100 stores by 2025
Yamada Denki and Otsuka tie with Staff Start
Puma flagship opens in Harajuku
Uniqlo sells through &mall
New JR Tokai Takashimaya satellite to open in March
Locondo buys Waja
Tokyo Yaesu exit to see major new development
Balmuda in Aoyama
Experiential consumption: sharing the joy of books
Tokyu plans major complex in Shinjuku
Mitsui Fashion merges with Nippon Steel
Tokyu closes Hinka Rinka Ginza
Aoki offloads space to Megane Super
Kose and Cosme Kitchen enter Off Price market
Sapporo Esta to close in 2023

Brands and Companies in this Issue

Adastria, 1, 11
Aeon, 4, 11–12, 14–15
Ain Pharmaciez, 13
Akachan Honpo, 7
Alfresa, 12
Amazon, 4, 7
Andersen, 6
Anta, 9
AnyMind, 13
Asoko, 4
Atre Ebisu, 16–19
B8ta, 1, 3
Balmuda, 10
Baskin Robbins, 7
Baycrews, 1
Beisia, 4
Belc, 4
Belle Maison, 3
Bic Camera, 13
Butter Goods, 8
Buyma, 10
Can Do, 4
Clyde Core, 8
Coca Cola, 7
Cosme Kitchen, 13
Cosmos Yakuhin, 12
Daichi, 1, 7, 13
Daiso Sangyo, 4
Daiwa House, 14, 16–18
Descente, 1, 9
Desert Snow, 11
Disney, 3
Diver City, 17–18
Docomo, 7
Don Quijote, 8, 13
Effe Organics, 13
Esprique, 13
Familymart, 1, 4–6
Fast Retailing, 9
Frank Muller, 3
Genky, 1
Godiva, 7
Goldwin, 1, 9
H2O, 5, 11
Hankyu Hanshin, 5, 17–18
Henri Charpentier, 9
Henry Cotton, 8
Hinka Rinka, 12
IKEA, 4, 8
Isetan, 1
Itochu Shoji, 9
Japan Post, 6
JINS, 7
Joinus, 19
Journal Standard, 1
Kansai Supermarket, 11
Karuizawa Prince, 16–18
Kashiwa Takashimaya, 15–18
Kawagoe, 6
Keihan Mall, 19
King Family, 10
Kobe Bussan, 8
Kobeya, 6
Komeri, 1
Kose, 13
Laketown, 11
Lattice, 4
Lawson, 7
Lazona Kawasaki, 16–18
Locondo, 10
Lucua, 16–18
Lumine, 16
Maison Kitsune, 8
Maison Kose, 13
Malera Gifu, 15, 17–18
Marui Tokyo, 17–18
Mash Holdings, 13
Matsumotokiyoshi, 5
Matsuya, 1
Matsuzakaya, 1
Maxvalu West, 12
Megane Super, 12
Mercari, 10
Mitsubishi Estate, 17–18
Mitsui Bussan, 12
Mitsui Fudosan, 9, 16
Mizujin, 7–8
Mori Bldg, 17–18
Muji, 1, 4, 8
Munsingwear, 9
MyLord, 19
Namba City, 17–18
Nankai Railways, 17–18
Narita Terminals, 17–18
Nippon Apocreat, 12
Nippon Steel, 12
Nishimatsuya Chain, 1
Nitori, 1, 4, 8
NTT, 7
Oisix, 7–8
Okuwa, 12
Onward Holdings, 1
Otsuka Kagu, 8
Pal Group, 4
Pixar, 3
Prologis, 7
Puma, 8–9
Rakuma, 10
Renown, 7
Rieninal, 10
Ryohin Keikaku, 8
Second Street, 11
Senshukai, 3
Seria, 4
Seven Eleven, 1, 6, 12–13
Seven Park, 7, 14
Shimamura, 1
Sojitsu, 17–18
Staff Start, 1, 8
Standard Products, 4
Sumitomo, 10
Super Arcs, 12
Takashimaya, 1, 9, 16
Tecc Life, 8
Threeppy, 4
TMD, 17–18
Tokushimaru, 13
Tokyu Corp, 11
Tokyu Store, 12
Toshin Kaihatsu, 17–18
Total Shopping, 17–18
TSI, 1
Umbro, 9
Uniqlo, 1, 9
United Arrows, 1
USMH, 12
Valor Holdings, 6
Vanish Standard, 1
Waja, 10
Walt Disney, 3
Wego, 10
Welcia, 6, 12
Workman, 1, 3
Yamada Denki, 8
Yaoko, 4, 12

Get a concise monthly update on Japanese Consumer Markets – and a FREE copy of our monthly report.