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Feb 03

February 2020 Top Stories

Key stories in this month’s issue of JapanConsuming, the essential monthly analysis and data update on Japan’s retail & consumer markets: Merchants battle with Rakuten over new termsRakuten has been working hard to catch up with Amazon on customer service but, to do so, it has had to impose new disciplines and costs on its merchants, including free […]

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Feb 03

January 2020 Top Stories

KEY STORIES IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE Lawson and KDDI join forces in cashless payments war With a series of mergers over the past three months alone, the big three mobile providers, along with Rakuten and Amazon, are drawing up battle-lines for competition in e-commerce, mobile payments and loyalty schemes. Softbank/Z’s acquisition of Zozo and LINE […]

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Dec 04

December 2019 Top Stories

Aeon ties with UK’s Ocado in push for online food leadershipAeon has become the Japanese partner to Ocado, one of the best online supermarket and systems providers for food and FMCG retailing in the world. Ocado works with only one company per country, so Aeon has stolen a lead on its rivals by gaining access […]

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Nov 21

November 2019 Top Stories

Key stories in this month’s issue of JapanConsuming, the essential monthly analysis and data update on Japan’s retail & consumer markets:The Online Fashion Wars: Rakuten takes on Z&ZozoZ Holdings’ (Yahoo Japan) decision to accept Yusaku Maezawa’s proposal to buy his stake in Zozo has caused major ructions in the fashion industry and e-commerce. While Amazon continues to carve […]

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Oct 06

October 2019 Top Stories

Key stories in this month’s issue of JapanConsuming, the essential monthly analysis and data update on Japan’s retail & consumer markets:Yahoo and Zozo: creating a digital conglomerateThe takeover of Zozo by Yahoo could be a win/win for both firms. Some worry about Zozo brand dilution but the potential benefits outweigh the negatives. Softbank and Yahoo’s databases should help […]

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Sep 02

September 2019 Top Stories

FOCUS: Department Stores 2018-19: taking risks to become original is an opportunity for overseas brandsThe department store sector witnessed a small drop in sales last year but, considering the large number of closures and conversions, this was a solid result and reflective of the ongoing support for the format from wealthy Japanese and inbound tourists. […]

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Jul 05

July-August Top Stories

FOCUS: The Complete Retail Review and Ranking 2018-19: profit growth slowing as marketing competition increasesLeading retailers grew sales and share last year and made more money too. Although savings rates rose to their highest level ever in 2018, this also meant that a lot of households had money stored up, providing better retailers and brands […]

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Jun 13

June 2019 Top Stories

FOCUS: Retailing 2030: The Big DisruptionRetailing in Japan is about to enter a period of unprecedented change – the biggest disruption in its history. The causes are threefold: population contraction, the labour shortage and e-commerce. Most advanced markets face one or, at most, two of these pressures but Japan faces all three at the same […]

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May 05

May 2019 Top Stories

FOCUS:Consumption Trends Review: higher wages good for value retail, luxury and, hopefully, the futureWages and salaries finally began to rise in 2017, and consumption expenditure picked up in 2018 but, at the same time, consumer confidence began to dip as households became increasingly wary about the appearance of long threatened price inflation. When prices did […]

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Apr 11

Top Stories April 2019

FOCUS: Fashion e-commerce: two-tiersystem of malls and direct closing in on department storesFashion is already the largest single category online, but it also a sector that is developing rapidly. While the bulk of sales come from the leading malls, Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo and Zozo, as well as a growing number of smaller malls, fashion retailers are […]

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Mar 05

March 2019 Top Stories

FOCUS THIS MONTH:E-commerce: digital to influence 45% of all retail sales by 2025E-commerce is set to account for 15% of retail sales in 2025, double the size of any other channel, and become the biggest channel for physical merchandise by 2023. However, recent research, which considers online sales in a store context, suggests that already […]

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Feb 04

February 2019 Top Stories

Japan going cashless in 2019, but households still keep a lot of Yen under the futon cashHeavily supported by the government, Japanese retailers are embarking on a shift to cashless payments and the number of different mobile payment services is growing rapidly. The speed of change is such that it is impossible to give more […]

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Jan 08

January 2019 Top Stories

FOCUSShopping Centres 2017-18: sales rise as mall development slows sharplyThe shopping centre market expanded in FY2017, increasing sales by 2.3%, despite jittery consumers. More investment in upgrading malls, the boost from inbound tourists, and higher food prices, all helped. The average growth among the top 100 was slightly more, up 2.6%. 2017 was the year […]

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Dec 05

December 2018 Top Stories

FOCUS: Convenience stores still innovating in saturated market The convenience store sector may have reached saturation but this has just encouraged the top three operators to speed up their quest to take over the remaining smaller chains, while pushing into regions where they have fewer stores. All had previously failed to come up with coherent e-commerce […]

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Nov 05

November 2018 Top Stories

FOCUS: Don Quijote: The future Aldi of Japan? Don Quijote will change its name to Pan Pacific International Holdings in February, reflecting both its growing number of brands, and to emphasise its plans to become a retailer with substantial operations across the Pacific Rim, including the US. At home, though, its recent acquisition of Uny, […]

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Oct 03

October 2018 Top Stories

FOCUS: Fashion Retailing 2017-18: cautious expansion as major formats consolidate Fashion retailers had a much better year in 2017 as the apparel and accessories market expanded 2.2% after two tough years of market contraction. Recent growth has mostly benefited the specialtystore and online sectors, but last year department stores also improved, and even the odd […]

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Sep 10

September 2018 Top Stories

FOCUS: Department Stores 2018: a core elite takes flight from the rest Japanese Department stores bounced back last year, and in some regions had a party, with sales at stores in Osaka up 6.6%. Overall, of course, sales for the sector continued to contract due to closures and further conversion of space to tenancies, but […]

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Jul 16

Jul-August 2018 Top Stories

FOCUS: Retail Ranking FY2017: strong performance across all formats as everyone pushes online The retail industry enjoyed another extremely good year in FY2017. There are now 79 companies with sales of ¥250 billion or more, including franchise operators and holding companies, and overall sales grew by 4.5%, ahead of the 1.9% growth in retail sales […]

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Jun 05

June 2018 Top Stories

Key stories in this month’s issue of JapanConsuming, the essential monthly analysis and data update on Japan’s retail & consumer markets: FOCUS: Who owns who in 2018: never have so many been owned by so few When your home country population is shrinking, and the number of active consumers falling even faster, there are just three options to […]

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May 05

May 2018 Top Stories

Key stories in this month’s issue of JapanConsuming, the essential monthly analysis and data update on Japan’s retail & consumer markets: Consumption Trends in 2017: more shopping but a lot of saving too Real expenditure levels are now 3% below the peak reached in 2009. This is despite a sharp rise in the cost of fresh food and […]

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