Category Archives for "FMCG"

Apr 15

Nitori: 15 years of record profits, sales up 11% to ¥386 billion

Nitori appears to go from strength to strength. Despite having a business based on direct imports from China, last year it overcame higher costs due to the weakened Yen, and with particularly high demand in the final quarter, reported another record performance. The company is introducing higher quality lines and opening more stores, both at […]

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Apr 15

Sunkus loses another 100 stores

Circle K Sunkus is looking increasingly shaky. Owned by Uny Group, the chain used area franchises to expand rapidly in the 1990s, giving branding rights to companies with geographical exclusivity. Many of these contracts are now coming to an end and a growing number of franchisees are switching allegiance to one of the larger players. […]

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Apr 15

Running Boom continues

Jogging has its fanatics in every country, but in Japan the sport has a fast expanding base of some 10 million people of all ages. Perhaps more than many countries, the enthusiasm for pounding the pavement is matched or even exceeded by the love of accessorising the daily ritual. As anyone walking around the Imperial […]

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Apr 15

Seiyu introduces ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ policy for fresh foods

In an unprecedented move for Japan, Walmart has introduced a ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ policy for fresh foods throughout its entire 374 store Seiyu chain. Previous attempts to introduce what is a standard policy for Walmart overseas floundered due to dismissive store employees, but Walmart hopes the new move will help improve quality standards throughout its supply […]

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Apr 15

Price wars loom as tax hike takes effect

The much anticipated Consumption Tax increase came into force at midnight on 1 April, with consumers stripping shelves of some product and others buying gold bullion just in case. Unlike 1997 when the tax was last raised, retailers are much more savvy today and a range of price cuts and campaigns have already been announced. […]

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Apr 15

Number of new SCs remains steady

The number of newly opened SCs doubled in 2013 compared to 2012, and a similar number is in the pipeline for this year too. More competition is good news for retailers and brands, but means choosing ever more carefully where to locate stores and which retailers to sell to. A shift towards more diverse merchandising […]

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Apr 15

Large store sales surge in 2013: top 50 department stores up 4.7%

2013 was a good year for retailing, and the results for the 12 months to December mirror the early financial year results now appearing. Department stores did particularly well, with the higher end stores far outperforming suburban and regional stores. Department stores and most major supermarket chains posted excellent sales in calendar year 2013. Overall […]

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Apr 15

Urban Research: 50 stores a year pace, 20% plus sales growth

Urban Research used to be a standard select shop, but has begun to diversify into the premium brand business, providing opportunities for overseas brands, and into mass market SPA retailing. It has seen sales rise from just ¥3 billion in 2001 to an expected ¥35 billion in FY2013 and is projecting an increase of 20% […]

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Mar 15

March 2014 News in Brief

Old Navy to open 25 stores in 2014 Gap Japan plans to open 25 stores for its Old Navy chain in Japan this year. Launched here in July 2012, Old Navy already has 18 stores. The next to open will be at Aeon Mall Wakayama mid-March followed by another in Aeon Tendo five days later, […]

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Mar 15

FOCUS: The Senior Market has arrived

The fact that Japan has the most rapidly ageing population in the world may be well known, but the impact of this change is still only vaguely understood. Retailers, however, are at last beginning to think through the implications and respond – they have little choice.    CHARTS CHART 1: Seniors as a percentage of […]

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Mar 15

Daiwa House: logistics innovator

If you need logistics services for e-commerce or are looking for store construction, Daiwa House may have the solution. It is about to break ¥120 billion in sales from its logistics business, offering multi-tenant logistics facilities ideal for SMEs and especially for anyone selling online. It is also a major, if low profile, SC developer […]

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Mar 15

More station SCs, large and small

Railway operators continue to accumulate more share of retail sales, with a welcome impact on their bottom line. As well as upgrades to existing buildings, making stations much more attractive places to shop and dine, railway operators and partner developers like Aeon are building more station shopping centres every year with wide variation in SC […]

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Mar 15

Matsumotokiyoshi looking for M&A

Matsumotokiyoshi sits at the head of the drugstore sector, the biggest chain in Tokyo and one of the most aggressive retail banners of any format. It has struggled to expand into the regions, but Matsukiyo is setting aside more cash for acquisitions. Matsumotokiyoshi (Matsukiyo) has led the consolidation of the drugstore sector over the past […]

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Mar 15

Direct marketing firms face pressure

Apparel e-commerce is an intensely competitive business and getting tougher. This is making life harder than ever for the main catalogue businesses, helping explain Nissen’s decision to accept the embrace of Seven & I Holdings. Competition from big players in apparel e-commerce is intensifying. As well as the old catalogue firms and pure online players, […]

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Mar 15

Marui, Shimamura, Honeys to hold down prices from April

Although regulations demand that powerful major retailers don’t force suppliers to absorb the coming consumption tax increase, the same rules cannot be easily applied where private brands are now the norm. In the past couple of weeks, multiple companies have come out to say they will keep prices static and some will even reduce prices […]

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Mar 15

Isetan-Mitsukoshi launches more small format stores

Isetan-Mitsukoshi has already proven its capacity to think beyond department stores through a series of small format concepts, and it will launch two more in the next year. These are helping the department store group reach new customers and better serve its core target too. Given the scale of investment, calling Isetan a department store […]

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Mar 15

Get ready for 20 million tourists

Japan has the lowest levels of inbound tourism among advanced economies, but this is about to change thanks to lavish marketing, the growing affluence of neighbouring populations, Japan’s increasing soft power, and the Olympics in 2020. The benefits to retailers and brands will be immense. At a Japan Shopping Centre conference in Yokohama recently, there […]

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Feb 15

February 2014 News in Brief

A result for Abenomics: ¥6 million chocolate Lower income consumers might be suffering, but Abenomics is certainly cheering up those with money to spend. Hanshin’s Umeda store has put a ¥6 million sapphire and chocolate tiara on sale in time for Valentine’s Day – the day when Japan celebrates chocolate consumption as a form of […]

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Feb 15

Consumption Tax to hit while incomes still falling

Retailers are bracing themselves for consumer reaction to the increase in Consumption Tax. Retailers may be worried, but some consumers are looking at a serious change to their spending patterns if incomes don’t increase soon. Although the last tax rise in 1997 caused relatively minor sales disruption in the end, it came at a time […]

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Feb 15

Seven & I revamps entire promotion system, more online ads

Build a store and the customer will come. But what if the store is a virtual one online? Given its clear aim to develop Japan’s first store-to-web omnichannel, Seven & I has taken the first step by entirely reorganising its advertising and promotion strategy. It will increase the volume of online advertising 10 fold in […]

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