June 11 2024

Healthy & Beauty market buoyant

Highlights from JapanConsuming monthly report

News and Analysis on Japanese retailing and consumers

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June 2024 Issue

Marui: a data mining dream coming true

While Marui’s credit card business now has in excess of ¥4 trillion in GTVs, its shopping buildings are also doing well, with sales up 14.5% last year and as much as 24% at some buildings. This is the result of new tenants, more services and better marketing based on vast in-house data sources.

Editorial: Fewer people, more M&A, diversification

Employee torpor an opportunity for foreign firms

Several recent surveys have looked at Japanese career aspirations, finding a worrying trend of falling ambition among the younger generation. This can be traced to traditional work practices lingering in many companies, and so presents opportunities for more progressive firms, particularly international ones, to attract the best talent.

Cath Kidston back in Japan

Cath Kidston has always had a loyal following in Japan but missteps at home forced the closure of its 44 stores here. Now TBS has signed the brand with plans for a string of new stores and more licensed product.

Adastria bets on diversification for future growth

M&A is now a core strategy for expansion among lifestyle retailers as depopulation shrinks the overall market. Adastria is leading this trend, acquiring several businesses in the past year, and will now add variety stores from Welcome, the operator of Dean & Deluca, and a restaurant chain. It is also developing new product lines in categories as diverse as sexual wellbeing and home decor, all part of wider plans to become Japan’s “biggest general lifestyle retailer”.

Fewer FMCG price hikes this April, but prices still rising

April, which along with October is the month when many FMCG brands adjust prices, saw far fewer price hikes this year compared to 2023. Even so, numerous major brands still announced hefty price increases for later in the year. Meanwhile, government subsidies for utility costs are ending and the weak Yen is an increasing concern for many consumer-facing companies.

KDDI invests in Ponta with Lawson

KDDI will complete its acquisition of a 50% share in Lawson next month and the chain will then delist. KDDI is promising a rapid introduction of services and fresh ideas to leverage its new retail arm. It will begin by unifying premium loyalty point membership under the Ponta brand and offer new services that it hopes will help boost share.

United Arrows: premium growth

United Arrows’ main urban chains are on a roll, up in double digits for the last two years, but it is being held back by its lower priced suburban chains. It will now focus more  on the premium market through aggressive category expansion, new brands and M&A.

Luxury sake: a precursor for a Japanese luxury sector?

Sake is the quintessential Japanese liquor, but the bulk of the country’s production is mass market, limited by a conservative brewing industry. Now, in response to the growing luxury market, start-ups are revolutionising the business, targeting HNWIs in Japan and overseas. It is an example of what could be a nascent Japanese luxury sector.

Goldwin to close Ellesse, focus on core brands

After posting another record year, Goldwin is narrowing its focus on a smaller number of high profile brands to maximise sales and investment spending, particularly for its own brand, Goldwin.

Yodobloom: Yodobashi Camera’s first store for Sogo Seibu

Although the purchase by Fortress Investment was completed more than a year ago, plans for Sogo Seibu department stores are still to be made public, but Yodobashi’s involvement will begin later this month with a new venture into cosmetics.


Drugstores: Health & Beauty sector buoyant as hybrid drug-food format expands

While health & beauty sales are concentrated in the drugstore sector, the last four years has seen a sharp increase in sales across other retail formats, from supermarkets to home centres. Meanwhile, drugstores have morphed into multiple sub-formats, selling food and other FMCG products in ever higher ratios, and providing competitive pressure for other sectors. The net effect is the emergence of a powerful new retail sector that is impacting all other FMCG retail formats from convenience stores, to supermarkets, through to lifestyle categories like cosmetics, and one that will force major change in the next five years.

Retail Data: Department stores flat without tourists


An end to odours: new smell-tech set to boom

The Body Shop Japan: what next?

Wacoal makes another loss

More clothes at the conbini

French jewellery brand Gemmyo opens in Tokyo

Seven & I sells Nissen

Asahi Shimbun acquires Light Up from TBS

Gas stations becoming service centres

Ministering your wardrobe with Minista

Comme Ca founder dies, sales fall

Aeon Mall invests in co-working firm Atomica

24-hour, unmanned sweet shops

Competing supermarkets to launch joint delivery

Shibuya Axsh opens this month

Mitsubishi Shokuhin to invest ¥150 billion in digital marketing

Oisix promotes uneven veggies to reduce waste

Yahoo Shopping GTVs fall, Rakuten too

Boucheron opens in Omotesando

Nitori launches new AR service

Belc: making a sitting change

Electronics sales up thanks to hot weather and tourists

Brands and Companies in this Issue

Adastria, 1, 5–7
Aeon, 3, 9–10, 12, 16–19
Aeon Mall, 8
Ain Holdings, 17–18
Ajinomoto, 8
Allbirds, 13
Alma24, 3–4
Aloha Table, 6
Amazon Japan, 9
Aoki Holdings, 17
Asahi Shimbun, 6
Askul, 1, 11
Atomica, 8
Attisession, 10
Aurelius Group, 3
Axsh, 10
Bain Group, 17
Baycrews, 10
Belc, 12
Beniya Shoji, 19
Bertram Books, 4
Bic Camera, 13
Boucheron, 12
Braun, 13
Byakko, 11
Calbee, 8
Cath Kidston, 1, 5
Cawachi Yakuhin, 1, 16, 18–19
Chubu Yakuhin, 16
Citen, 10
Cocokara Fine, 16
Coen, 10
Comme Ca, 8
Conte, 10
Cosmos Yakuhin, 16–19
Daiei, 9
Danskin, 12
Direx, 16–17
Don Quijote, 5
Dyson, 13
Edion, 13
Ellesse, 1, 12
Epos, 3
Familymart, 4, 10
Fast Retailing, 8
Five Foxes, 8
Forgers, 12
Fortress Investment, 13
Found Good, 5, 7
Fuji Supermarket, 9
Fuji Yakuhin, 16, 19
Gemmyo, 5
Gengai, 11
Genky Drugstores, 17–19
Goldwin, 1, 12–13
Hankyu, 1
Hapycom, 16
Idemitsu Kosan, 7
Ikoma, 12
Inageya, 16
Isetan, 1
Itochu Shoji, 5
ItoYokado, 5
Iwa Sake, 12
Izumi, 7, 9–10
Japan Post, 12
Joinus, 20
Joshin Denki, 13
Juji Yakkokyoku, 18
Jusco, 18
Kao, 18
KDDI, 1, 9, 18
Kengo Kuma, 12
Kirin, 8
Kirindo, 16–17
Kokuyo, 5
Kraft, 16
Lakole, 7
Lawson, 1, 4, 9–10, 16, 18
Light Up, 5–6
Marui, 1, 3
Maruto, 18
Mash Holdings, 10
Matsukiyo Cocokara, 16, 19
Medical Ikko, 18
Medipal, 16
Minaki, 11–12
Minista, 7
Mister Donut, 8
Mitsubishi Shoji, 4, 9
Mitsubishi Shokuhin, 10–11
Mitsukoshi, 1
MyNavi, 4–5
Natura, 3
Nihon Chozai, 16–18
Nintendo Switch, 13
Nippn Flour, 8
Nissen, 5–6
Nitori, 1, 12
Noevir, 13
NTA, 11
NTT, 3
Oasis Management, 17–18
Odakyu Railway, 6
Omemie, 1
Onward Holdings, 2
Pal Group, 6
Parco, 3
Persol, 4
Plaza, 5
Ponta, 1, 9
Qol, 16, 18
Rakuten, 9
Reborn, 11–12
Ripplenity, 7
Ryohin Keikaku, 4
Sake Hundred, 11–12
Sanei International, 5
Sanrio, 7
Seven Eleven, 5
Shiai Medical, 5–6
Softbank, 9
Sogo Medical, 16
Sogo Seibu, 1, 13
Sony, 5–6, 13
Space Island, 6
Stylinglife Holdings, 5
Sugi Holdings, 17
Sundrug, 16–17
Suzuya, 8
Takashimaya, 1
Tenmaya Store, 9
Tokyodo, 5
TSI, 5
Tsuruha, 1, 14, 16–19
Unerry, 10
Uniqlo, 1, 8
United Arrows, 1, 5, 10
Valor, 16
Wacoal, 4
Welcia, 14, 16–19
Yahoo Shopping, 11
Yakuodo, 19
Yamazaki Bread, 8
Yaoko, 13
Yodobashi Camera, 1, 13
Zetton, 6


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