March 3 2022

Year ahead in Japanese retail & consumer markets

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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January 2022 Issue

Cainz takes on Nitori with Tokyu Hands takeover

Iconic retail chain, Tokyu Hands, is to be acquired by Cainz, Japan’s leading home centre retailer. Tokyu Hands remains as popular as ever thanks to its unique merchandising, but it has struggled to be profitable for a long time. This is something that Cainz should be able to fix if anyone can, and Hands will be part of Cainz’s plans to become the Workman of home retailing – bringing new competition to Nitori.

Consumer themes for 2022

Qoo10 to launch ¥10 billion fashion mall

Qoo10 has become one of the most popular malls among young women for all things Korean, particularly cosmetics and fashion. The online mall now wants to exploit this by creating a new dedicated fashion mall with better promotional opportunities for merchants of all nationalities.

Households focus on price as inflation fears spike

The government has promised consumers price inflation for almost a decade now in what almost seems like an ironic joke – the only real result of this policy is that we’ve seen record levels of household saving. Now, however, supply chain and other issues are quickly beginning to force up prices of basic products and these increases are having a real impact on household budgets. How long this situation may last is the big question but, in the short-term, creative retailers must be ready to deal with customers shifting focus onto price – discount food retailers are likely to boom but full savings accounts will also be good for consumption of luxuries and treats.

Adastria to acquire Zetton

For a decade Adastria was the fastest growing fashion retailer but, as it matured and the apparel market stagnated, growth rates declined. The company now wants to become a diversified lifestyle retailer with food as a major element so, to speed things along, it will acquire listed restaurant business Zetton. It is also investing in overseas retailers to spearhead expansion abroad.

Mitsui launches mobile store sharing platform 

Mobile truck stores are increasingly common but, given the cost and skill set required to run them, so far only big retailers have invested in their own fleets. Now, Mitsui Fudosan has developed a sharing platform to make it easy for businesses of any size to sell via trucks.

Platforms add brand support as online fashion wars move offline

Rakuten and Zozo are in a long battle for share in online fashion with both companies increasingly aping the other in a bid to attract both merchants and consumers. Amazon and Z Holdings aren’t standing still either but the competitive pressures between Rakuten and Zozo may put them ahead of their rivals.

More than half of households in Tokyo, Osaka live alone

The detailed results of the 2020 Census are now out. The number of people living alone, and particularly in Tokyo, Osaka and surrounding cities, jumped dramatically in the past five years and forecasts suggest this trend will continue. This has major consequences for government but it is equally important for marketing planners.

Home delivery next evolution for Conbini sector?

Convenience stores are bouncing back after a difficult 18 months, aided by efforts to find new ways to meet demand for home deliveries. While conbini are ideally placed to do this thanks to their large networks of local stores, their less flexible business model means that competitors like food delivery companies are making the first moves, already setting up dark stores for local deliveries.


2022: to normality and beyond

This month we take a brief look back on 2021 to consider the big developments that may affect Japan’s market into 2022 and beyond. The pandemic meant that conditions and performance were far from ideal, but by the end of the year things were looking up in Japan as they were in many other countries. While too early to say for sure, increased sales at major retail formats like department stores through to December plus a slight down turn in savings rates, all pointed towards the likelihood of a good end of year sales season. Even if that isn’t retail-wide, Fumio Kishida, Japan’s latest prime minister, is keen to see yet more income rises and to encourage consumers to open their wallets.

Retail Data: Department store sales up 8.1% in November


Shopping centre numbers fall again but sales stabilise

Government backs PayPay to promote Digital life

Zozo sells art, targets overseas brands

Sports apparel market up 10% in 2021

SMEs prefer the big malls

Rakuten-Seiyu to build largest dedicated online DC so far

Bang & Olufsen popup store in Omotesando

Venus Fort to close in March

Mercari ties with Magazine House, launches packing service

J Front back in the black

QVC begins terrestrial TV spots, 3D outdoor ads

Tsutaya launches Share Lounge concept

Aeon Mall to open future proof SC in 2025

Child-poverty growing in Japan

Nitori to expand to South East Asia

Clothing rental sales up 250% for Aeon

Alpen adds robots to warehouses

World creates D2C platform

More Korean cosmetics in Japan

Pan For You subscription growing

Kansai Super to join H2O Retailing

Matsuzakaya Shizuoka to get ¥1.7 billion face lift

Softbank to end partnership with T-Point

Mitsui to expand &mall e-commerce for its SC tenants

Brands and Companies in this Issue

Adastria, 1, 7–8, 17
Aeon, 5, 8–9, 17–18
Aloha Table, 7
Alpen, 10
Amazon, 4, 10–11
Amorepacific Group, 10
Amu Plaza, 19
Aoyama Shoji, 17
AppBrew, 4
Aqua City, 6
Askul, 1, 13, 17
Base Inc, 9
Baycrews, 7
Beisia, 1, 3
Bic Camera, 17
Brutus, 6
Cainz, 1, 3
CCC, 8, 13
Cloenc, 10
Cosmos Yakuhin, 17
Daikoku Bussan, 17
Daimaru, 1, 7
Daiso Sangyo, 13
DCM, 1, 17
Decks Tokyo, 6
Dholic, 10
Diamond Head, 9
DiDi, 12
Disney, 9
DiverCity, 6, 13
Don Quijote, 6
Ebay Japan, 4
Entetsu, 12
Espoir, 10
Familymart, 12–14, 17–18
Flowmakers, 9
Food Panda, 12–13
Fukuske, 9
Genky, 1, 17
Giosis, 5
Global Work, 7
Gyomu Super, 6
H2O, 11–12, 17
Hanako, 6
Hands Be, 3
Hankyu, 1
Hankyu Oasis, 11
Heiwado, 17–18
HEP, 19
Homeyroomy, 3
Honeys, 10
IKEA, 17
Iope, 10
Isetan, 1, 12, 17
Izumi, 17
Izumiya, 11
Izutsuya, 17
Jamba, 7
Japan Post, 10
Japanet Takata, 7
Joinus, 19
Jun, 19
Jupiter Shop, 7
Kansai Super, 11–12
Keihan Mall, 19
Kikkoman, 5
Kintetsu, 17
La Salle, 5
Lalaport, 13
Lavien, 11
Lawson, 12–13, 17–18
Lazona, 13
Loft, 3, 11–12
Love Bonito, 7
Luluti, 9–10
Magazine House, 6
Marui, 17
Matsukiyo, 17
Matsukiyo Cocokara, 18
Matsuya, 1, 17
Matsuzakaya, 1, 7, 12
Maxvalu West, 17–18
Megane Super, 8
Mercari, 6, 9
Merpay, 6
Mikke, 8
Mitsubishi Estate, 6, 9
Mitsui Fudosan, 6–8, 13
Mitsukoshi, 1, 17
Mori Building, 6
Muji, 1, 3, 18
MyLord, 19
Nihon Chozai, 17–18
Nitori, 1, 3, 9, 17–18
Nojima, 9
Ocado, 8
Oisix, 8
Omni7, 12
Palette Town, 6
Panda Mart, 12–13
Parco, 12
PPI, 17
Premium Outlets, 9
Princi, 8
Qoo10, 1, 4–5, 10
QVC, 7
Rakuten, 3–5, 9–10, 12–13
Rakuten Seiyu, 5, 10
Ryohin Keikaku, 17–18
Sealy Beds, 9
Seeds Market, 11
Seiyu, 5
Seria, 17
Seven Eleven, 12–13
Share Lounge, 8
Shein, 10
Shimamura, 1, 6, 17–18
Shopify, 5
Simeji, 10
Softbank, 13
Staff Start, 8
Style Factory, 1, 3
Sugi, 17
Sukiya, 5
Sundrug, 17
Takashimaya, 1, 17
Tokushimaru, 8
Tokyu, 1, 3
Tokyu Hands, 1, 3
Toyota, 6
TSI, 7
Tsuruha, 1, 17–18
Tsutaya, 8
Uber Eats, 12
Uniqlo, 1
United Arrows, 1, 17
Uny Mall, 19
USMH, 17
Valor, 17
Wego, 10
Welcia, 17
Wolt, 12
Workman, 1, 3, 17
Yahoo, 4, 10, 13
Yamato Holdings, 10
Yaoko, 17
Zeta Voice, 8
Zetton, 1, 7
ZHD, 10
Zozo, 3, 9–10, 17


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