June 7 2023

Isetan and Hankyu break records

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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June 2023 Issue

The great divide: Isetan and Hankyu break records as regional stores close

Some department stores enjoyed record sales in FY2022 but the gap in performance accelerated between city centre stores and the rest. While numerous regional properties continue to struggle, the best exemplars of urban department store retailing are flourishing as they become true luxury emporiums for the wealthy.

Editorial: Clothes back in fashion

Rakuten’s Seiyu sell off will boost netsuper

Rakuten sold its 20% stake in Seiyu to KKR at the end of May, divesting from direct ownership in physical supermarkets. This not only provides a much needed injection of cash for Rakuten’s digital projects, but it should also help the online platform build trust with other supermarket chains interested in joining its netsuper platform. Both companies reaffirmed their commitment to build the largest online food retail platform within the next two years.

Authentic Brands to open office in Japan’s “¥3 trillion brand paradise”

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) wants to be known as the LVMH of casual brands but, unlike the luxury group, which has a large share of the Japanese market, Japan still accounts for less than 3% of global sales for ABG. To fix this, the US firm will establish a subsidiary shortly and deepen ties with local partners and retailers.

Yaoko: 34 years of record profits

One of the few long-term success stories in supermarkets is Yaoko, which recently celebrated 34 consecutive years of record operating profits. Thanks to a combination of innovation and attention to detail, Yaoko’s financial performance continues to trounce larger rivals in the highly competitive food market in Kanto.

Ecbeing nears ¥1 trillion in GTVs

Ecbeing is one of Japan’s fastest growing online service firms, ranked as the leading provider of complete online e-commerce packages. Its growth last year made it the fourth biggest online marketplace by GTVs.

Nitori: 33 years of revenue growth

Nitori, Japan’s largest furniture retailer, once again grew consolidated revenues in its extended financial year to March. Despite the increased costs of imports, profits also rose, although net profits saw a rare decline. The group continues to diversify, expanding its omnichannel operations and building more stores overseas.

Big apparel revival: Onward up again, Sanyo finally makes a profit

FY2022 was the best year in a decade for Japan’s big apparel firms. Brands benefitted from the return to shops, particularly department stores. While some of the leaders used the pandemic to make further progress in rationalisation, diversification and omnichannel, Sanyo Shokai stuck to what it knows, which may lead to problems once the rebound dividend wanes.

Shibuya’s Bunkamura to rise again with new Donki and Tokyu developments

Shibuya’s Bunkamura was always a bit of a backwater in terms of footfall, but this suited the largely wealthy clientele who shopped at Tokyu’s flagship store. New plans will see a transformation of the area that will make it even more exclusive – with the odd exception like Don Quijote’s new entertainment centre.

Seven & I CEO survives – just about

An attempt to oust the CEO of Seven & I by activist fund ValueAct Capital failed in May, but Ryuichi Isaka, who ValueAct helped to appoint just seven years ago, also failed to get support from almost a quarter of shareholders. Meanwhile, there is still no news on the deal to sell Sogo Seibu to Fortress Investments.

Mash: aiming for ¥300 billion

All eyes are on Mash Holdings after its high valuation sale to Bain Capital. The fashion to restaurant business wants to use its new access to funding to become a top 10 lifestyle retailer with half of sales coming from overseas.

Average household savings hit ¥19 million

After three years of disruption, life is returning to what passes for normal in many ways, but is today’s ‘normal’ the same as it was back in 2019 or have there been significant changes? While rising prices remain a concern for many households, record levels of income, full to bursting savings accounts, alongside subtle signs of a falling propensity to save mean people are out spending again. With a raft of new data points available, it’s now possible to provide an updated snapshot on consumer spending and behaviour.


Summer bonuses up for second year running
Narita rebounds on higher traffic as Louis Vuitton opens
Shopping malls up 8.7% in 2022
80% of consumers shop online at least 10 times a year
Familymart sells shoes
H&M opens latest flagship in Ginza’s Namiki Dori
OK Super to open in Ginza
Takashimaya Kyoto T8 to have 51 stores
Maison Special up 6-fold in 4 years
Parco updates online store
Home reform market steady in 2023
Workman to open new fashion chain
Nishimatsuya Chain aims for ¥250 billion in sales
Hankyu Umeda opens Green Age floor
Ryobo Department Store up 10%
Living House offers demonstration service for home brands
Suzuki helping more people set up mobile shops
KDDI acquires Menu food delivery business
Honeys turns salespeople into influencers
Fuji to lead Aeon push into Western Japan
Daimaru Matsuzakaya does frozen food subscriptions
Fuji Keizai estimates 2022 non-store retailing at ¥13.3 trillion
Tenmaya sees major jump in profits
Smaller trucking companies under pressure
Beer bikes popular in Japanese tourist spots
Fuji Yakuhin introduces individualised coupons

Brands and Companies in this Issue

Adastria, 1–2, 6
Aeon, 7, 11
Amazon, 4–5, 7
Amazon Fresh, 5
Aoyama Shoji, 2
Authentic Brands, 1, 6
B8ta, 8
Bain Capital, 13
Berkshire Hathaway, 13
Boardriders, 6
Brooks Brothers, 6
Burberry, 9–10
Buyee, 7
By July, 13
Cartier, 12
CCC, 12
Celford, 13
Closshi Premium, 2
Comodi Iida, 5
Cosme Kitchen, 13
Cotopaxi, 6
Crestbridge, 10
Crocs, 4
Daidoh, 6
Daimaru Matsuzakaya, 3, 11–12
Daiso, 4
Deco Home, 8
Descente, 6
Dome, 6
Domise, 11
Don Quijote, 11
Ecbeing, 1, 7
Eddie Bauer, 6
Edwin, 6
Estnation, 5
Familymart, 4
Fast Retailing, 2, 8
Foocot, 7
Food Maison, 4
Fortress Investments, 12
Fuji Retailing, 11
Fuji Yakuhin, 13
Fujimaru Hokkaido, 4
Gap, 4
Gelato Pique, 13
Genky, 1
Giolitti, 11
Glass Lewis, 12
Goldwin, 9
Green Age, 8
GU, 2
Gucci, 13
Hankyu Hanshin, 3, 8
Hikarie, 11–12
Hiroshima Maruhiro, 4
Honeys Holdings, 10
Inageya, 5
Isetan, 1, 3, 11
Itochu Shoji, 4, 6, 13
Izutsuya Kurozaki, 4
Joinus, 20
Joix, 6
Joy Urban, 4
JT, 3
JTB, 8
Jun, 20
Kasai, 5
KDDI, 10
Kintetsu, 1, 4
KKR, 5
Kofu One, 4
Kokumin, 4
Komeri, 1
Laox, 6
Laxus, 10
LCRE, 11
Leilian, 6
Lil Woody, 11
Living House, 9
Locondo, 6
Loewe, 8
Louis Vuitton, 3
Lumine Est, 20
LVMH, 6, 11
Maison Special, 6
Mash Holdings, 13
Matsuya, 1
Matsuzakaya, 1, 3
Maxvalu, 4
Maxvalu West, 11
Meitetsu, 4
Milk Owen, 13
Mitsui Bussan, 9
Mitsukoshi, 1, 3
Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi, 1
Mitsukoshi Niigata, 4
Mizujin, 6
Mucha, 6, 13
Muji, 1
My Voice, 4
Narita Airport, 3
Nautica, 6
Nichido Insurance, 8
Nintendo, 6
Nishimatsuya Chain, 1–2, 7
Nitori, 1, 4, 8
Okajima Kofu, 4
Okubo, 5
Onward Holdings, 9
OwnDays, 4
Parco, 6–7
Patek Philippe, 12
Pony Canyon, 12
PPIH, 11
Ragtag, 10
Raizon, 10
Raku Rich, 11
Rakuten, 1, 5, 7
Rein Spooner, 5
Roxy, 6
Ryubo, 8
Sagawa, 4, 12
Sanyo Shokai, 9–10
Sazaby League, 6
Seijo Ishii, 4–5
Seims, 13
Seiyu, 1, 5, 7
Sesame Street, 13
Seven Eleven, 12
Shimachu, 8
Shimamura, 1
ShinQs, 11
Snidel, 13
Softbank, 12
Sogo Seibu, 1, 3, 12
Takashimaya, 1, 4–6
Taobao, 7
Tenmaya, 12
Tiffany, 13
Tobu, 4
Tokio Marine, 8
Tokyo Dance, 11
Tokyu, 1, 11–12
Tomorrowland, 6
Toshin Kaihatsu, 6
TSI, 9–10
Tsutaya, 6, 12
Tutuanna, 4
Uber Eats, 10
Under Armour, 6
Valor, 5
Walmart, 5, 7
Wego, 10
Welcia, 7
Workman, 1, 7–8
Yahoo Shopping, 7
Yamato, 4, 12
Yaoko, 1, 6–7
Zozo, 9


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