April 5 2024

Japan Consumers: Spending down but wallets full

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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April 2024 Issue

Itochu targets fashion e-commerce via Jade takeover of Magaseek

Jade Group has acquired Magaseek and will merge this with its own fashion e-commerce platform, Locondo. Magaseek was founded by Itochu 20 years ago, and the deal underlines Itochu’s growing influence of Jade as a proxy for its ambitions in fashion e-commerce and distribution.

Editorial: Rise of the discounters – and Itochu

Trial to become 5th biggest supermarket post-IPO

Trial, the discount FMCG and retail technology company, completed its IPO last month, achieving an initial market capitalisation higher than most of its rivals in the supermarket sector. If forecasts for FY2023 are achieved, it will become the 5th largest chain in the country and its proprietary technology should give it an important advantage in the medium term.

Under Armour plans 30% growth in 5 years with Itochu support

Under Armour Japan has been through significant restructuring since the takeover by Itochu Shoji and is now set for a new phase of expansion focusing on directly-managed stores in malls, e-commerce and licensing targeting the youth market.

Retail wage hikes to break records

As outlined in this month’s focus, households are very concerned with inflation. They, as well s the Bank of Japan, are hoping for big wage increases this Spring to help boost confidence. So far at least, it seems many will get their wish.

Kuipo: tackling polarisation in the bag market

While sales of luxury accessories are booming and value fashion accessory retailers are also performing well, the middle-market of domestic bag brands has imploded as consumer spending polarises. Japanese bag manufacturers have suffered but one of the leaders, Kuipo, is rebuilding its business as an importer and distributor of foreign bag brands.

Nitori expands at home, abroad and online with help from Mirakl

Last month, leading furniture retailer Nitori announced it would work with French platform developer Mirakl to build a new online marketplace. The new site will be available late 2024 or early 2025, with Nitori hoping it will contribute 20% of Japan revenues within a global sales target of ¥3 trillion by 2032, when overseas store numbers are expected to be double those in Japan.

IKEA reveals Japan’s growing love of the home

IKEA’s global survey on Life at Home reveals some key differences between Japanese households and their counterparts overseas.

Golf: fewer, younger players

The golf boom continues as more women and more younger Japanese take up the sport but, overall, the market is actually contracting as the old mainstay support from businessmen wanes due to the ongoing reduction in the working population through retirement. But opportunities to sell to the younger, and female, markets remain.

Labour shortage changing recruitment in consumer sector

In retail and across most major industries, finding and retaining good staff is increasingly difficult due to the labour shortage. New graduates remain a key source for bigger firms, but students now expect proper training and a good work environment. They’re also less willing to move to work in a store hundreds of kilometres from friends and family.

Lopia takes over Ito-Yokado stores

One retailer’s demise brings opportunities for others. Last month Ito-Yokado revealed further details of its plans to close 33 stores by 2026 with around 20 due to close this year, including the once iconic Tsudanuma location. Lopia, the discount chain, will take over seven of its stores in northern Japan.


Consumer Behaviour: cautious spending but big savings to be unlocked if real wages rise

Our in-depth analysis of consumption data shows clear levels of caution among consumers due to inflation and fears of more price rises to come. Food expenditure has risen to a record high due to higher prices and this has curtailed spending in other categories like fashion for most income classes. Savings rates are at record levels however, boosting growth for the better brands and retailers and if wages rise in real-terms, then consumer confidence is likely to rebound.

Retail Data: Malls up 10%, departments stores 14%


ANA makes air freight cheaper than road

JR West to launch online mall

Seicomart scores further local victories

A new landmark for Akasaka

Matsukiyo introduces genderless cosmetics

Muji Europe in administration

Keio creates new mall business, to merge with department stores

Gucci opens first Japan store for Gucci Beauty

Ecbeing hits ¥1.2 trillion in GTVs

Longchamp achieves record sales again

Femtech sector nears ¥75 billion

Mitsubishi to build mall at Karuizawa Station

Shimamura: 50 stores a year and more e-commerce

Christian Louboutin closes cosmetics stores

Amazon adds new robotics fulfilment centre

Sazaby League signs Madhappy from LA, Pillings from Japan

Reputation insurance more common

Goldwin signs AllBirds

Shinjuku: work begins at West exit as Alta closes

ANA Mall hits 100 stores

Tabio signs license of Barça

Aeon Mall invests in Orosy

United Arrows launches shoe brand

Nugu opens 2nd store

Yamatu signs Turkish brand Juju Mood

H&M to open major new Harajuku store

Plaza rebrands

Aeon launches private label cosmetics

Eco-spoons at Ministop

Real incomes drop post pandemic


Brands and Companies in this Issue

Ace, 6

Adastria, 1

Aeon, 5, 13

Age Group, 17, 21

AllBirds, 10

Amazon, 3, 8–9, 12

Anna Sui, 7

Aqua Ignis, 7

Askul, 1

Atre Ebisu, 22

Barcelona Football, 11

Barcos, 6

Batallure Beauty, 8

Best Buy, 7

Brandeli, 3

Carrefour, 7

Christian Louboutin, 8

Clathas, 7

Converse Footwear, 5

Daiei, 13

Daimaru Matsuzakaya, 6

Daks, 7

Decathlon, 7

Deco Home, 9

Depaco, 6

Dome, 4

Don Quijote, 2

Ecbeing, 6

Edion, 9

Familymart, 2

Fashion Walker, 3

Fast Retailing, 9

Femata, 7

FGJ, 8

Fila, 5

Fruit Gathering, 8

Fuji, 4

Genky, 1

Genten, 7

Gentle Monster, 10

Gherardini, 7

Goldwin, 10

Golf Partner, 11

Gucci, 6

H2O, 8

Hearts Up, 13

IKEA, 1, 9–10

Imizu, 7

Iroha, 7

Isetan, 1, 6

Isetan Mitsukoshi, 11

Itochu Shoji, 1, 4–5, 7

Izumi, 3

Jade Group, 1–3, 5

JAL, 3, 6


Joinus, 22

Juju Mood, 12

Keio, 5

Kirin Holdings, 11

Kuipo, 1, 6–7

Lanvin, 7

Lawson, 5

Leroy Merlin, 7

Locondo, 1, 3

Longchamp Japan, 6

Lopia, 1–2, 13


Madhappy, 9

Magaseek, 1–3

Maison Margiela, 10

Makiya Group, 5

Marui, 13

Matsukiyo Cocokara, 4

Matsuya Ginza, 8

Ministop, 13

Mirakl Japan, 7

Misaki Shoji, 7

Mitsubishi Electric, 7

Mitsubishi Estate, 4, 7

Mitsukoshi, 1, 6

Mobacolle, 3

Monogatari Corporation, 12

Mosburger, 4

Muji, 1

Nichido Fire, 9

Nitori, 1, 6–9, 12

Nugu, 12

Odakyu Railways, 10

OPA, 12

Orosy, 11–12

OwnDays, 12

Palace Skateboards, 5

Parco, 13

Pearly Gates, 11

Pillings, 9

Plaza, 13

PPI, 4, 13

Puig, 8

Qoo10, 3

Rakuten, 8, 12

Reebok, 3, 5

Ryohin Keikaku, 5

Samantha Thavasa, 6

Sazaby League, 9

Secoma, 3

Seicomart, 3–4

Seiyu, 4

Seven Eleven, 3, 13

Shimamura, 1, 7

Shinjuku Alta, 11

Sogo Seibu, 1

Sokko Beauty, 13

Sony Plaza, 13

Styling Life, 13

Tabio, 11

Takashimaya, 1, 6, 13

Tenga, 7

Tobu Funabashi, 7

Tokio Marine, 9

Tokyo Derica, 7

Tokyo Metro, 10

Tokyu Land, 10

Transit General, 11

Trial Holdings, 3

TSI, 11

Tsuruha, 1

Under Armour, 1, 4

Uniqlo, 1

United Arrows, 1, 12

Universe, 6

Uny Mall, 22

USMH, 3–4

Valor, 4

Waja, 3

Walmart, 4

Workman, 1

Yahoo Shopping, 3

Yamatu, 12

York Benimaru, 4

YouTube, 10

Zozo, 1, 3, 12


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