December 4 2023

Japan’s Shopping Malls back to normal

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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December 2023 Issue


Shopping malls: more proactive and disciplined post-Covid

Japan’s shopping malls are now trading at pre-pandemic levels again and developers and tenants alike are much more upbeat and optimistic about the future. The pandemic, alongside competition from e-commerce, has left its mark but this has mostly been a good thing, forcing more proactive management of malls and higher levels of engagement with consumers through events and online marketing. Profitability remains a concern but rents are up for some and more efficiencies are being introduced through digitisation.

Qoo10 more than doubles users to 23 million in 5 years

Qoo10 has been quietly growing its share of the Japanese e-commerce market. Despite relentless competition from the big three online malls, Qoo10 has managed to increase members from 10 million in 2018 to 23 million today through effective event marketing and close attention to customer demands. While cosmetics and fashion are the current focus, Qoo10 is also strengthening other categories like food, stationery and electronics.

To see more articles about Qoo10, check this page.

Editorial: Malls back to normal as e-commerce rises

Inflation worries worsen as food prices rise 9%

September and October brought worsening rates of inflation. Two decades of price and wage deflation, along with booming exports and a shortage of labour, mean that larger firms plan to offer another round of large pay increases in 2024. Retailers, meanwhile, are beginning to see demand weaken due to price rises of 9% on food, and some are taking steps to reduce prices where they can.

Jade hopes for growth through Reebok as Locondo slows

The number of active users on Locondo has fallen in recent quarters, causing concern for merchants and investors alike. The online mall’s operator, Jade Group, is hoping that sales of major brands like Reebok will attract more users while also bringing higher levels of growth.

Geo Holdings: plenty of money in old rope 

Consumption of used products is rising fast as exemplified by the rise of 2nd Street. Operated by Geo Holdings, once just a DVD rental business, it is now Japan’s largest used goods retailer. Sales are booming in a market increasingly focused on thrift and re-use, allowing 2nd Street to even take on the might of Mercari.

Zozo-owned Yutori to list this month

Zozo may lead in online fashion malls but its customer base, while young, is getting older. In 2020, it acquired a majority stake in Yutori, a fledgling fashion mall targeting the young, which will now list this month.

To see more articles about Zozo, check this page.

Tsuruha: battling for independence

Tsuruha sees itself as another recent victim of activist fund pressure. The No. 2 drugstore chain has grown successfully over the past decade and today has the widest store coverage of any chain in its sector. That notwithstanding, this summer Aeon supported activists’ demand for strategic change, and now Tsuruha thinks the only way it can keep its independence may be to take the company private.

Descente ties with Lamborghini and Dior to target outdoor luxury

Descente continues to restructure its domestic business, with the aim to raise the brand positioning of the Descente brand to match that in the Chinese market where prices are also higher. Collaborations with Lamborghini and Dior should help.

To see more articles about Descente, check this page.

Cainz, the lifestyle retailer

Cainz has grown to become the largest home centre retailer, but its strategy of private branding has shifted its positioning towards a lifestyle chain, similar to Nitori.

Convenience Wear: Familymart competes with Uniqlo in basics

The almost viral popularity of Familymart’s line of basic clothing items continues to grow. Backed by Itochu, Familymart has expanded the product range and added new, limited edition items and brand collaborations, creating a success story that Seven Eleven and Lawson may find hard to emulate.

To see more articles about Familymart, check this page.

Mitsubishi Shokuhin ready to blitz retail advertising

Seven Eleven and Familymart have already sent panic through the offices of major advertising agencies by setting up their own retail media networks, and providing new ways for brands to reach consumers. Now, Mitsubishi Shokuhin, the largest food wholesaler, says it will do the same, using its sogo shosha credentials, its existing ties to 10,000 clients at either end of the supply chain, and the data analysis of geolocation company Unerry.

Arcs aiming to solve looming 2024 problem with Mitsubishi’s help

In another example of new regulations forcing greater efficiency in logistics, Arcs is working with Mitsubishi Shokuhin and other suppliers to reduce the number of deliveries per store per day and to speed up the unloading process. Without improvements, estimates suggest that driver shortages could mean more than a quarter of current delivery volumes will become unviable by 2030.

Retail Data: Signs of serious consumption downturn


Yahoo Shopping GTVs down again

Lululemon to accelerate store rollout

Department stores ramp up online cosmetics

Norwegian jewellery brand Tom Wood in Japan

Isetan Shinjuku expects record sales again

Record sales for Donki

IKEA Maebashi to open mid January

Nestle plans further price increases in Japan

Ya-man opens flagship in Ginza with Face Lift Gym

Onward ties with Wego

Danish lighting brand Louis Poulsen opens in Aoyama

New Aeon Mall to feature unmanned supermarket

Tokyu completes Shibuya Sakura Stage

@Cosme starts selling on Amazon

LaLa Terrace Tokyo-Bay opens

Fortress licenses Seibu to Malaysian retailer

Shopping malls up 5%

New Familymart store in Azabudai Hills

Nitori plans 200 stores in South Korea

Aeon Retail revamps children’s apparel

Strong first half for Oisix

JR East plans 1,000 smart lockers in stations

Can Do plans more products, larger stores

Former Isetan Sagamihara store to be rebuilt

Seven & I acquires Australian franchisee

Brands and Companies in this Issue

Adastria, 1, 11
Aeon, 4, 9, 11, 13, 15–16
Aeon Mall, 7, 19
Amazon, 1–2, 8–9
Anna Sui, 8
Anta, 10
AppBrew, 1
Appliv Topics, 1
Au Pay, 1
Balenciaga, 3
Bic Camera, 3–4
Bon Aqua, 11
Cainz, 1, 5, 10
Can Do, 13
Centimeter, 8
Coca Cola, 11
Cocoon City, 16, 18
Costco, 5
Crooz, 1
Daiei, 7–8
Daimaru Matsuzakaya, 4, 13
Daiwa House, 18
DCM, 10
Descente, 1, 3, 10
Dior, 1–2, 10
Ebay Japan, 3
ECbeing, 1
Edion, 7
Familymart, 1–2, 10–13
Fortress, 9
FutureShop, 1
Genky, 1
Genzai, 8
Geo Holdings, 6
Gmarket, 1, 3
Gotemba Premium, 16–18
Hakuhodo, 12
Hankyu Hanshin, 18
Hapicom, 9
IKEA, 2, 5–6, 10
Isetan, 1, 4–5, 10
Itochu Shoji, 5, 11
Jade Group, 5–6
Japan Post, 17
Joyful Honda, 15
Joyhon Park, 15
Karuizawa Prince, 16–18
Key Tenants, 20
Kids Republic, 11
Kitkat, 2, 6
Kojima, 3
Kokuyo, 11
Komeri, 1
Konandai Birds, 19
LaLaport, 9, 20
Lamborghini, 1–2, 10
Lawson, 2, 11
Line Yahoo, 3
Locondo, 1–2, 5–6
Lohaco, 3
Louis Poulsen, 7
Lucua, 17–18
Lululemon Athletica, 3
Lumine, 21
LYP, 3
Makeshop, 1
Marui, 17
Matsukiyo Cocokara, 9
Matsuya, 1
Mega Don, 5
Megapo, 3
Megawari, 3
Meiji Yasuda, 4
Mercari, 1, 6–7, 12
Midland Square, 16–17, 19
Mitsubishi Estate, 17, 19–20
Mitsubishi Shokuhin, 1, 12–13
Mitsui Fudosan, 9, 17–19, 21
Mitsukoshi, 1, 4, 10
Mori Bldg, 18
Muji, 1, 11
My Sugar, 8
Nankai Railways, 18–19
Narita Airport, 16, 18
Nestle, 6
Netflix, 11
Nitori, 1–2, 10–11
Nomura Fudosan, 20
NTT, 8, 20
Oasis Management, 9
Odakyu, 19
Oisix, 11–12
Onward Holdings, 7
Orix, 20
Pal Sendai, 16–18
Parco, 20–21
Prada, 3
Purple Carrot, 11
Qoo10, 1–3, 6
Radishboya, 11
Rakuma, 1, 7
Rakuten, 1–2
Recycle Tsushin, 7
Reebok, 1, 5
Rezard, 5
Seibu, 9–10
Seven Eleven, 4, 11–13
Shidax, 12
Shimamura, 1
Sogo Seibu, 1
Sojitsu, 19
Style Factory, 10
Sugi, 9
Sunshine City, 16, 18
Suntory, 5
Takashimaya, 1, 3–4, 15
Tokushimaru, 12
Tokyo Midtown, 13, 16–18
Tokyu Hands, 10
Tokyu Land, 8
Tom Wood, 4
Toshin Kaihatsu, 18
Toyota Industries, 8
Unerry, 12–13
Uniqlo, 1, 5, 11, 20
United Arrows, 1, 7
Uny, 5
Wego, 7
Welcia, 9
Workman, 1, 20
Yahoo Shopping, 1, 3
Yamada Denki, 7
Yamazaki, 5
Yutori, 1, 7–8
Zozo, 1–3, 5–8


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