November Top Stories

Dec 03

Zozo launches OMO platform, opens first pop-up store

Zozo is getting physical: it will open its first popup physical store and start a new platform service to make it easy for merchants’ shop staff to sell and communicate with Zozo customers. Other big platforms are following suit. Zozo will also launch a new measuring service shortly, this time for hands, tying with Bulgari no less.

Editorial: A fashion disaster clears the air

Kansai Super: H2O confirms buyout

An extraordinary shareholders’ meeting has confirmed the takeover of Kansai Supermarket by local ally H2O Retailing. Kansai Food Market will be formed from the merger next Spring but to get here the new group has made significant promises while possibly creating a formidable enemy in the form of OK Super, should the latter decided to enter the Kansai market anyway.

Digital marketing & personalisation: marketing trends to watch

A recent survey of senior executives provides hints for trends in marketing and consumer behaviour. On the marketing side, managers see digital solutions as the main area of development, while for consumers it’s still about convenience, but there is also far more demand for personalisation.

Department stores: going after the newly wealthy

Department stores are desperate to get back on track, having lost both the middle class at home and travellers from overseas. With further squeezes on the middle class in the past 18 months thanks to job losses and rising prices, and no sign yet of returning tourists, department stores are in a gold rush fervour to climb back upmarket and ply their wares to the rich.

Uniqlo Japan online up 18% but forecasts down

Uniqlo is facing more competition in China and ongoing saturation at home but is optimistic that better supply chains, more e-commerce and a new push into Europe will help maintain growth, albeit at much lower levels this year at least.

Eddie Bauer to exit Japan

After 27 years, the US brand Eddie Bauer will exit the Japanese market, closing more than 50 stores. There is, however, a chance it will return.

Matsukiyo Cocokara: together at last

The Matsumotokiyoshi and Cocokara Fine merger is now complete following almost two years of dealing, planning and company bonding. The combined business creates the single biggest drugstore group in Japan, although the Tokyo-based partners have lost ground in the past year while others have grown strongly, so the lead is smaller than they previously expected – and may get smaller still.

Ups and downs in big retail a year after Covid hit

Half-year results are coming in for the largest retailers. Although both Aeon and Seven & I struggled with profits, Seven & I reported a significant jump in revenues, supplemented by its recent acquisition in the USA, with more than half of group revenues now coming from abroad. Aeon also saw a small bounce back. Life, the largest supermarket, recorded flat revenues but is planning a big investment in stores and systems in preparation for anticipated changes to shopping behaviour.

Aeon to acquire Fuji in Shikoku

Aeon has confirmed it will acquire the Fuji GMS chain in Shikoku, merging it with Maxvalu West to create a new regional group that will have combined sales equivalent to more than 20% of the retail market on the island.

Mercari to offer logistics to all

Mercari now has more than 20 million monthly users and 2 billion listed items so couriers are straining under the onslaught. To lift some of this burden, the CtoC platform plans to invest in easy access for drop-off and pick up points as well as more efficient shipping. Once in place, Mercari plans to allow other online merchants on to this network as well as merchants on its new B2C platform, Mercari Shops.

Yodobashi Camera: 50% online in 5 years with nationwide delivery

Yodobashi Camera will build up to 20 new fulfilment centres within the next five years. The aim is to offer same or next day delivery nationwide. In the past year, Yodobashi has massively grown its online capacity – it already has more coverage than Rakuten – and is set to build on its existing position as the largest e-commerce operation outside the big, pure play malls.

FOCUS:

Fashion Retailing 2020-21: leading brands suffer worst year in modern history

The last 18 months were the most traumatic for the fashion retail history since WWII. Yes, there were significant niche areas of growth, particularly among e-commerce firms and suburban low-cost apparel retailers, but for most brands this has been a time that tests character, efficiency and resilience. The good news is there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel and, looked at from a global perspective, Japan is in a much better position than many markets (not least because of the huge pile up of savings), so international brands will be thanking Japan for providing a modicum of stability in a still chaotic world.

Retail Data: Households increase savings again

IN BRIEF

Aeon to acquire Cando ¥100 shops

Rakuten signing up local supermarkets to sell online

UK’s Lina Stores proves hit in Tokyo

Takashimaya launches regional shopping app

Unmanned stores to use defunct bank branches

Haneda to promote Japanese luxury

3Coins flagship in Harajuku

Snow Peak to start furniture sales

Bio C’Bon to open in Nihonbashi in December

70% of new Muji stores to be supermarkets

Mitsukoshi takes over part of former Sogo store in Shikoku

Daiwa downgrades its forecast

Jogging market reaches record high

Restaurants surviving, but only on handouts

New Yamada Denki with more furniture

ZHD links LINE Gift to PayPay and Yahoo shopping

Seiyu private brands expanding

Izutsuya bounces back

Right On online sales up 2.5-fold from low base

Cosmetics market contracts 15%

Daidoh asks for retirees

Sanyo Shokai makes another loss

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