May 31 2022

Japan’s home interiors market thrives

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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May 2023 Issue

Big retailers resist price pressure

As more suppliers announce price increases, larger retailers are turning to discount campaigns to establish some early price credibility before competition gets even fiercer. Lower prices will increasingly attract customers as price sensitivity quickly rises. But, with the Yen at a 20-year low and signs it might sink further, import prices are also set to add to the pressure.

Editorial: No money? Spend more time at home

Daiso: going after Muji and Nitori

Daiso is usually known for standing back and throwing mountains of plastic into cramped stores and selling it all for ¥100 per item. The Hiroshima-based retailer has moved on in the past few years and now even has a sustainability programme and new formats that not only sell at higher prices, but offer a level of quality that surprises new customers. Its latest chain, Standard Products, targets Muji and Nitori in home categories for anything smaller than a desk and is representative of the growing sophistication and reach of discount retailing.

Merchandise e-commerce to grow 6.6% in 2022

Recently, the e-commerce retail market for goods had had more consistent growth than the overall online market, which saw a contraction in BtoB transactions during Covid. In 2021, online sales of physical goods continued to grow, despite a correction following the spike in sales in 2020, and looks set to grow by a similar amount in 2022, with food, fashion and consumer gadgets the highest growth categories.

Familymart to double apparel space

Familymart’s Convenience Wear branded lines of apparel basics have been a major hit and most stores will see expanded ranges in coming months. New collaborations with designers are also planned. Familymart is also looking to introduce unique deli items and expand frozen ranges.

Aeon takes top spot in online FMCG

For a while, Aeon kept quiet about its e-commerce performance after announcing a ¥1 trillion target for FY2025, but it has now confirmed significant progress in its latest results. Although not quite on track to meet that target, digital sales have doubled in the past two years and Aeon is now well ahead of Seven & I.

Takashimaya to close Tachikawa

Takashimaya will close its store in Tachikawa early next year, but this can be seen as a further sign of an improving outlook for a smaller department store sector. More closures will rid the sector of excess capacity and solidify positioning as a genuinely upscale format for the affluent.

Lawson considers IPO for Seijo Ishii

In 2014, Lawson acquired the upmarket supermarket operator, Seijo Ishii, for ¥55 billion. It is now considering plans for an IPO for Seijo next year following a boom in the company’s fortunes during the pandemic. Net profit rose 13% last year and the potential for growth remains strong given the expansion of the wealth market in Japan.

Top CVS chains rebound in FY2021

The convenience store sector returned to growth last year, but the larger chains still have a way to go to adjust to a new era of slower growth and the need for new ideas.

Mercari: Docomo-shared IDs hit 10 million, ties with Daiso

Mercari continues to consolidate its hold on the Japanese CtoC market through extensive collaborations with partners. As well as its ongoing partnership with NTT Docomo, Mercari has also just tied with Daiso and Hakuyosha.

Kinokuniya expands in West Japan

Kinokuniya lays claim to being Japan’s first self-service supermarket, opening back in 1953, but today it is a largely Tokyo focused, high end supermarket chain. The company was acquired by JR East in 2010 and development has since been relatively muted, but it opened its first store in Kansai in 2020 and is now set to expand further.

Snow Peak moves into food

Snow Peak has always been more than just a retailer of outdoor and camping goods. It first began selling experiences such as camping a decade ago but now plans to exploit Japan’s new enthusiasm for the great outdoors by creating cafes, restaurants and food products linked to camping and outdoor themes.

Life opens Supermarket 4.0: a hybrid online-offline store

Life opened a new, upscale supermarket last month in central Tokyo that is designed to process online orders as easily as serving in-store customers. The new store, replacing Mitsukoshi in Ebisu Garden Place, includes a backroom that acts as a dark store for online orders, freeing up space in the store for higher margin items like deli foods.


Home decor market continues to flourish in pandemic and beyond

Japan may have discovered home decoration and DIY later than some markets but it has made up for this with a convert’s enthusiasm. In the last decade, the market has grown around 50% and a host of brands and retailers have flourished. While the big chains like Nitori dominate, there are a myriad of opportunities across all price points for overseas firms both online and off.

Retail Data: Stronger apparel sales at department stores


Itochu grabs Under Armour Japan

HelloFresh enters Japan

Alpen buys 3.7% of TSI

G-Foot closing 187 stores in 3 years

Keio unveils plans for Shinjuku

Qoo10 opens Move mall

Narita records minor recovery in February

Haribo sales up 40% in two years

New overtime law to Affect e-commerce

Lawson to sell Muji in 14,500 stores

Sogo Seibu makes loss again as it awaits new owner

Baroque profit surges

Matsuya aims for ¥83 billion in 2024

Locondo up just 3.2%

Rakuten targets Mercari with Rakuma update

Parco builds homes

Delica Foods challenges Oisix through new meal kit service

Rail operators offering loyalty points

PayPay tops yet another survey

Izutsuya issues first dividend for 23 years

Brands and Retailers in this Issue

Actus, 17–18
Adastria, 1, 11, 18
Aeon, 1, 3, 5, 7, 10
Alpen, 4
Amazon, 7, 11, 13
Aoyama Trading, 5
Asahi Superdry, 1
ASBee, 5
Askul, 1
Asplund, 18
Atre Ebisu, 19
Awesome Store, 18
Babolat, 3
Bals, 17–18
Baroque Japan, 9
Baycrews, 18
Beisia Group, 18
Belc Retail, 3
Belle International, 9
Brandear, 11
Cainz, 14, 17–18
Can Do, 4
Cassina, 17
Cawachi Yakuhin, 1
Chiyoda, 1, 5
Choi Deli, 6
Cosme Loft, 17
Cosmos Yakuhin, 1
Costco, 17
Crooz, 11
Daimaru, 1
Daiso, 1, 4–5, 8, 11
Deco Home, 15
Delica, 12
Delica Foods, 12
Descente, 3
Direx, 1
Dome, 3
Ebay Japan, 5
Ecos Daikoku, 3
Etre Tokyo, 5
Europe Boeki, 9
Familymart, 1, 6, 8, 10, 16
FamiPay, 6, 13
Fila, 3
Francebed, 16
FrancFranc, 17–18
Frill, 11
Genky, 1
Groupe Seb, 17
Gyomu Super, 3
Hakuyosha, 11
Halows Tenmaya, 3
Hankyu, 1
Haribo, 6
Heiwado, 3
HelloFresh, 3–4
Hoken Mammoth, 13
Hokusei Pencil, 4
Huf, 4
Hulic, 10
IKEA, 4, 14–18
Inageya, 1, 3
Isetan, 1, 8
Isezaki, 11
Itochu Shoji, 8
IXC, 17
Izumi, 3
Izutsuya, 13
Jack Bunny, 4
Joinus, 19
Jun, 19
Junkudo, 8
Kagu Nafco, 17
Kaldi, 13
Kansai Super, 3
Katitas, 16
Keio Corporation, 5
Kinokuniya, 1, 12
KKR, 9
Kobe Bussan, 3
Kokuyo, 18
Komeri, 1, 17
Lakole, 18
Lawson, 1, 7–10, 16
Le Creuset, 17–18
Life Biotope, 13
Locondo, 10
Loft, 15, 17–18
Lohaco, 7
Lopia, 1, 3
Lowya, 15, 18
Marui, 11
Matsuya, 1, 10
Maxvalu Tokai, 3
Maxvalu West, 3
Mecre, 5
Meidiya, 13
Mercari, 1, 4, 11
Merlogi, 11
MerPay, 13
Ministop, 10
Mitsubishi Shoji, 8–9
Mitsubishi Shokuhin, 6
Mitsui Fudosan, 11
Moussy, 9
Muji, 1, 4, 7–8, 14, 16, 18
Nautica, 3
NewDays, 12
Nitori, 1, 4, 8, 14–18
NTT, 11
Ocado, 7
Oisix, 7, 12
Ontsu, 5
Otsuka Kagu, 14–15, 17
Pal Group, 4–5, 18
Parco, 11
Pearly Gates, 4
Poggen Pohl, 18
Prince, 3
Qoo10, 6
Ragtag, 11
Rakuma, 11
Rakusai, 12
Rakuten, 7, 9–11
Ryohin Keikaku, 8, 15–17
Sazaby League, 18
Seibu Holdings, 13
Seibu Smile, 12
Seijo Ishii, 1, 9, 12
Seiyu, 7, 9, 13
Sergio Tacchini, 3
Seria, 4–5
Seven Eleven, 5, 8, 10
Shimachu, 15–17
Simmons, 16
Slow House, 18
Smilekan Yamada, 17
Snow Peak, 1, 12–13
Sogo Seibu, 1, 8–9
Standard Products, 4–5, 18
Stussy, 4
Style Factory, 18
Subsclife, 18
Takashimaya, 1, 8
Threeppy, 4–5
TikTok, 9
Timco, 12
Timeless Comfort, 18
Tokyo Interior, 17
Tokyu Corp, 18
Tokyu Hands, 14–15, 17–18
Toshin Kaihatsu, 8
TSI, 4–5
Under Armour, 3
Uniqlo, 1
Valor, 3
Vega Corporation, 18
Waja, 10
Watts, 4–5
Welcia, 7
Workman, 1, 5, 18
Yahoo, 10
Yamada Denki, 17
Yamaya, 5
Yaoko, 3
Zozo, 10–11

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