Category Archives for "Fashion"

Jun 14

June 2015 News in Brief

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opens first Japanese branch The first Japanese outlet for LA-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf beverage chain opened in Nihonbashi last month. Founded in 1963, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is regarded as one of the progenitors of the gourmet coffee business in the US and is today owned […]

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Jun 14

FOCUS: Sogo Shosha in fashion: Japanese trading companies adapt to changing fashion market

The big Japanese trading companies are key conduits in domestic apparel and fashion distribution. They supply yarn, buttons and other parts, clothing, accessories and footwear to most of the high street retailers, while also acting as distributors for hundreds of overseas brands. Their role is changing, however, as more foreign brands operate directly in Japan […]

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Jun 14

H&M opens 50th store, on track to hit 120 stores by 2020

H&M is proving to be one of the fastest growing overseas apparel retailers ever in Japan. It now plans to open more small stores in city centres. Once it has worked out issues with its other chains here, these plans could make it one of the top 10 specialty apparel retailers in Japan in the […]

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Jun 14

H2O to invest ¥60 bn through 2017

H2O is a powerhouse in Kansai and its investment programme for the next decade looks set to confirm its dominance in key cities from Osaka down to Fukuoka in Kyushu. H2O Retailing continues to cement its position as one of the leading retailers in Kansai and Kyushu through selective investments in new retail facilities, upgrades […]

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Jun 14

United Arrows: under pressure

United Arrows posted higher sales in FY2014, but it is suffering from falling profits and its core chains are experiencing declining footfall, down 10% last year on a same store basis. Management admits to problems with merchandise, but there is a growing concern that the brand is also losing its cachet after several years of […]

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Jun 14

Renting bags gains traction

Most women want to buy luxury bags, but there’s also the option to rent them for short periods. While this might look like bad news for bag brands since it means fewer are sold, it actually expands the market for bags designed for special occasions, times when a new purchase can’t quite be justified for […]

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Jun 14

LGBT market finally out in the open

Japan has always been accepting of the LGBT community, although, as in the West, the more conservative avoid any public debate. A more liberal society and greater internationalisation in general mean more and more companies are openly targeting this market, which a recent report suggests has a value of close to ¥6 trillion. Japanese firms […]

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Jun 14

Nisshinbo acquires Tokyo Shirts

Business shirts are a commodity product usually sold either within Japan’s Big 4 suits retailers or at department stores. In the last decade a few specialty chains have begun to wrest control of distribution from manufacturer wholesalers. Recognising this, one of Japan’s biggest materials businesses, Nisshinbo, sold its own shirt brand last year and has […]

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Jun 14

Yamato launches e-commerce solution, challenges Amazon

Yamato will launch an e-commerce package for retailers this month, leveraging its vast logistics base. The new service brings competition for Amazon and Seven & I, with rapid fulfilment to customers and backend support, while crucially helping Rakuten and other portals solve their problems with patchy merchant deliveries. Small merchants will even be able to […]

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Jun 14

Isetan-Mitsukoshi to relaunch in Europe, open more stores in Japan

The amount of copy devoted to Isetan-Mitsukoshi in recent months is the result of the pace of change and innovation at the formerly dowdy department store group. As well as small stores and services like travel and health clinics, the group’s latest ideas emphasise its determination to reach out to customers wherever they are. This […]

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May 15

Retail sales surge in March

So, with the consumption tax introduced on 1 April, just how well did retailers do in March? On the whole, the situation was similar to the last increase back in 1997, but with far greater buying of high end items and, for some categories, sales increases that were as high as the month before the […]

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May 15

May 2015 News in Brief

Fred Segal opens in Log Road SC in Daikanyama Fred Segal opened its first Japanese store last month within a new 2,000 sqm shopping space operated by Tokyu in Daikanyama. Fred Segal in Japan is operated under a franchise by Mark Styler. Along with Fred Segal, which has both men’s and women’s stores and a […]

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May 15

2014 Calendar Year Results: Leading chains make progress in difficult year

Calendar year results for the three big format sectors, department stores, GMS and supermarket chains, and convenience stores, provide a quick hint of what to expect from results at the end of the financial year. Although 2014 was a difficult year given the increase in prices from tax hikes and higher cost imports, on the […]

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May 15

Fast Retailing to link up 3,000 stores globally through e-commerce

Fast Retailing has announced a new plan to boost online sales and make better use of IT in its stores. It expects to build new systems that allow sharing of online purchase data with store staff in the hope of providing better in-store services. The initiative will mean a significant increase in IT hires and […]

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May 15

Lawson ties with Sagawa to compete with Seven & I and Amazon

Lawson and Sagawa are launching a new joint venture next month that will eventually see Sagawa take over delivery services for 12,000 Lawson stores across the country. Even more significant, Sagawa will use the stores as small depots for its existing parcel delivery service, as well as delivering orders from stores direct to customers’ doors. […]

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May 15

Fashion site Fifth hits ¥1.4 billion in sales in 2nd year

Fifth is an online-only, fast fashion store with strong visuals. It is one of the more successful new e-commerce ventures, expecting to grow to sales of ¥10 billion within a few years. It also plans to sell its expertise to other fashion businesses needing help online.  Fifth is a fast fashion, online store offering ‘fashion […]

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May 15

80% of retailers expecting increased profits in FY2015

While FY2014 was a complicated year for many retailers, the majority of publicly traded firms are optimistic about the next 12 months. Most leading retailers are expecting to report improved profits. Such confident forecasts reflect the fact that sales at the best retailers remain strong despite issues with the consumer economy as a whole, and […]

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May 15

J Front acquires stake in Senshukai to build omnichannel platform

Omnichannel retailing seems to be the holy grail for retailing these days. Seven & I catalysed the strategy when it bought Nissen, aiming to make it the centre of an omnichannel retail empire, and many other major retailers are looking to incorporate e-commerce as part of a multi-channel strategy too. Now J Front has followed […]

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May 15

Outlet malls continue to expand

Outlet Malls continue to expand in Japan and Mitsui and Mitsubishi lead the way with some 80% of the market. The malls are now so popular and generate such traffic, both from domestic customers and tourists, that more and more brands are opening outlet stores with much wider strategic intent than just to sell off […]

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May 15

Isetan opens first Salone, plans 10 stores by 2018

Small format retailing is Isetan-Mitsukoshi’s way out of the strictures of the department store market. Until now its boutiques have been in airports and outlet malls. Last month it opened Isetan Salone, the first in a chain of at least 10 upscale select shops. It also opened more middle market stores in Osaka that could […]

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