April 18 2023

Japan Retail Media: a major new profit source

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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April 2023 Issue

Retail media: retailers taking control of marketing channels

Retail media in its traditional sense is nothing new, simply referring to the use of advertising in stores, but in modern terms retail media is something far, far bigger. It is not only a trend in the US, but one that is about to explode in Japan – although in a very different format. With purchase rates up two-fold in early experiments, the potential for brands advertising through retail stores will be significant.

Editorial: Omnichannel rules

Charles & Keith a success in Japan 2nd time round

Footwear and bag sales dipped for many during Covid but not for Charles & Keith, which has managed to expand through the pandemic, with sales up 30% last year alone from its 14 stores.

Adastria takes on Uniqlo and Muji with new chain

Adastria is bidding to capture more market share in both the core apparel market as well as through licensing (Forever 21) and home decoration and other lifestyle markets. Until now, it has focused on slightly premium mass markets but a new chain will face Uniqlo and Muji head on in apparel basics.

Seven & I wastes no time following founder’s death

Seven & I has announced major restructuring of its struggling Ito-Yokado GMS chain – a company that big investors have long demanded be sold off entirely. The latest round of cuts had to wait until the company’s founder finally passed away, and may still not go far enough. New investor demands for a change in Seven & I’s leadership team arrived almost immediately after the announcement.

Workman moving into fashion

Workman may have its roots in workwear for tradespeople but it is evolving fast, moving beyond outdoor and sports and now into core clothing categories like underwear, using its long-term planning to undercut competitors through economies of scale. Same-store sales growth has fallen sharply in recent years but the new categories may help revive growth levels again.

HP France files for bankruptcy

Covid was one problem but just as consumers began spending again, the Yen collapsed and inflation rose. This hit some less-prepared importers of premium fashion brands hard, especially those with weak balance sheets like HP France, which filed for bankruptcy last month.

Isetan Shinjuku: aiming for ¥300 billion sales from just one store
Isetan Shinjuku has always outperformed competitors by a large distance but the store’s management is intent on widening this gap further. The key will be a focus on premium customers with ever more granular data sets to personalise marketing.

Trial IPO to drive tech innovation targeting convenience stores

Trial Company opened the third Trial Go store in Fukuoka last month, featuring further rollout of facial recognition payment systems and AI monitoring of sales and stock levels. Trial thinks the technology can reduce costs significantly, improving margins while allowing it to roll out more small format stores and compete with the big convenience store chains, backed by an IPO to fund this.

JRE Mall: ¥130 billion GTVs in 2025

JR East is best known for trains and shopping buildings but it has also built up a sizeable e-commerce division. Its main JRE Mall now has 640,000 members and 450 merchants.

Department Stores: transformation amidst a recovery

Wealthy Japanese staying in Japan, more people acquiring wealth, a return of inbound tourists and better merchandising and store investment, all combined to help department stores rebound strongly in 2022. Further growth is expected but only for some, and in some product categories more than others.

Fashion e-commerce evolving into dynamic and seamless omnichannel, winners will take all

After the accelerated transition to digital channels during Covid, the fashion sector had a calmer year in 2022 although GTVs still grew around 10%. Most retailers spent the time investing in more seamless and coherent omnichannel models, and in making the best use of stores and staff in online promotions. This shift to omnichannel is also leading to changing merchandising, with some retailers now looking to pre-sell seasonal collections as much as two months ahead of the season, while others are turning their online stores into malls.

Retail & Consumer Data: City malls rebound to 2019 levels


IKEA gearing up for new store in Maebashi
Genky Drugstores continues growth
Tokyo Base makes loss
Lawson to expand Muji sales nationwide
Sazaby League signs Outerknown
New data service tracks consumption of food
Tokyu sells Tokyu Plaza
Yagi Tsusho signs deal with C.P. Company
Daimaru adds menswear to subscription service
Arc’teryx aims for 15 stores this year
Shopping malls up 20% in February
Donki unveils new format
Kitte Osaka to open in 2024
Sogo Seibu relaunches cosmetics online store
New Askul DC cuts costs by 20%
scandal could close last department store in Mito
Itochu signs Tonymoly
Ginza Six has record sales
New baby & toddler lines from GU
Spanish footwear brand CallagHan opens store
IKEA’s food goes down well in Japan
Rakuten opens dedicated FMCG distribution centre
Rising price of dry ice could hit online sales
Sundrug to expand online, seeking to double sales
Welcia competes with Cosmos Yakuhin in Kyushu
Fastest Growing fashion firms online
EC share for fashion retailers

Brands and companies in this Issue

Adastria, 1, 5, 15–18
Aeon, 7, 13
Akachan Honpo, 15
Amazon, 1, 15, 18
Amer Sports, 6
Amu Plaza, 19
ANAP, 17
Aoyama Shoji, 16–17
Aranciato, 17
Askul, 1, 9
Baroque Limited, 15–16, 18
Baycrews, 14–15, 17–18
Beautiful People, 6
Biryu Hyakka, 8
Branshes, 17–18
Buyma, 18
Cainz, 3
CallagHan, 11
Celine, 10
Cinoh, 6
Cloche, 17
Comfort Market, 7
Cosmos Yakuhin, 12–13
Costco, 3
Crooz Shoplist, 15, 18
Daily Clip, 5
Daimaru Matsuzakaya, 6, 10, 13
Daytona Int, 15
Descente, 17
Dior, 10
Don Quijote, 8, 12
Facebook, 1, 4
Familia, 17
Familymart, 1, 3
Fashionwalker, 18
Fast Retailing, 17
Felissimo, 15
Fendi, 10
Fortress Investment, 7
Fruit Gathering, 16
Genky Drugstores, 3
Ginza Six, 10
Global Work, 5
Goldwin, 15, 17
GU, 3, 10, 15–16
Hankyu Hanshin, 13, 18
Heaven Japan, 17
Honeys, 15–16, 18
IKEA, 3, 11
Isetan Mitsukoshi, 13
Isetan Shinjuku, 10, 12
Itochu, 10, 16–17
Izumi, 12
Japan Post, 8
Joix Corp, 15, 18
Jun, 15, 17, 19
Jungsaemmool, 10
Jupiter Shop, 15
Kirakira Denki, 8
Kitte Osaka, 8
Lasalle, 12
Lawson, 1, 3
Leilian, 16
Locondo, 4, 15, 18
Lohaco, 9
Look Holdings, 9, 16
Lotte, 5
Lumine, 15
Lumine Est, 4, 19
Magaseek, 15, 17–18
Maison Margiela, 6
Maquia, 8
Marni, 6
Marui, 15, 18
Mash Holdings, 17
Milk Fashion, 16
Mirakl, 17
Misaki Shoji, 9
Mitsubishi Shoji, 5
Muji, 1, 3–5, 7
Narumiya Int, 15–16, 18
Nitori, 1, 12
Noin, 10
Odakyu Shinjuku, 13
Onward Holdings, 4, 17
Outerknown, 4
Pal Group, 17
Parco Matsumoto, 13
Peach John, 15
Piala, 10
Ponta, 3
PPI, 8, 12
Qoo10, 18
QVC, 15
Rakuten, 4, 12, 14–15, 18
Ron Herman, 4
Royal Copenhagen, 16
Ryuichi Isaka, 6
Saint Laurent, 10
Saitex, 4
Sazaby League, 4
Seibu Holdings, 7
Seibu Ikebukuro, 7, 10
Seiyu, 12
Senshukai, 15, 17
Seven Eleven, 1, 3, 6–7
Shimamura, 1, 12, 16–17
Shopify, 13
Shueisha, 8
Sogo Seibu, 1, 6–8, 13
Staff Start, 15–16
Studio Clip, 5
Sumitomo Shoji, 10
Sundrug, 13
Takashimaya, 1, 13
Tokyo Base, 7, 15–17
Tokyu, 5
Tonymoly, 10
Trial Company, 4, 11–12
TSI, 15–18
Uniqlo, 1, 5, 14–15, 17–18
United Arrows, 1, 15–17
Uny Mall, 19
Urban Research, 15, 17
Veilance, 6
Wacoal, 15, 18
Walmart, 1, 11–12
Welcia, 13
Workman, 1, 8–9
Yagi Tsusho, 5
Yamada Denki, 4
Yodobashi Camera, 7
Zozo, 14–15, 17–18
Zozotown, 14–15


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