Tag Archives for " Consumers "

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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Apr 15

70% of young expect to stay single

In a somewhat depressing survey result, almost three quarters of a sample of 20 year old women said they thought it likely they would spend their lives alone, even if most of them did hold out hope they would find love and marry eventually. An annual survey of 20-21 year olds carried out by Rakuten’s […]

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Apr 15

Consumption continues to flounder as Spring wage rises disappoint

As recently as February, leading economists were doing their utmost to convince major Japanese companies to tow the government line and plough some of their recent profit gains back into wage increases. In the end company generosity turned out to be measly and most consumers are left increasingly doubtful of seeing any benefit from Abenomics. […]

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Mar 15

Weddings: fewer, but more fun and opportunity

On the surface it seems that Japan might be one of the worst prospects for anyone selling products or services related to weddings. Marriage rates are declining, because there are just fewer young people, but also because so many women don’t want to get married, often fearful of losing their career. There is good news. […]

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Jan 15

Household savings rate turns negative, poverty rates rising

Despite receiving a mandate to continue the Abenomics experiment, at least from the 35% of the electorate who could be bothered to vote, the government faces increasing pressure to get the economy back on track. The policies of boosting export income while raising demand at home are looking increasingly incompatible as the Yen continues to […]

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Jan 15

The Missus market: population growth driving fashion opportunity

The obsession with youth sometimes seems even stronger in Japan than other markets even though the younger population is shrinking. Recently suppliers and retailers alike have been waking up to the fact that one of the few segments set to grow in the next decade will be over 40s and 50s women: the Missus market. […]

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Dec 15

Targeting the over 50s

There are few large, dedicated fashion chains for seniors despite being the fastest growing market in terms of population. Leilian is one, but the firm has struggled to innovate, focusing instead on managing the transition in ownership from Renown to Itochu. Under the trading firm’s new lead it has spent the last two years revamping […]

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Oct 15

Working population declines by 4 million in five years

Depopulation in Japan often seems like old news, but the rate of acceleration and its effects are only now beginning to be fully understood. Already medium sized cities in the outer regions, especially in the north, are being hit by population decline so rapid that there’s no longer enough money to sustain even some basic […]

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Sep 15

Wages up for four straight months but incomes fall

Government PR is making much of the fact that wages have risen for four straight months for full time workers. It is making less noise about the 3.2% fall in real incomes. Coupled with the fact that wages are still below the levels of 2010 and much of the increase was due to labour shortages, […]

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Jul 15

44% of consumers shopping online

The government’s Consumer Bureau recently completed a survey of consumer mindsets and problems. Many of the problems identified will be of little surprise, but the results confirm once again a continued shift towards online shopping – including purchases overseas – and how much that will effect the market as a whole. The Consumer Bureau surveyed […]

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May 15

Middle aged women enjoying their time alone

There’s an increasing need for companies to look carefully at catering to older Japanese. There are already 16 million households over 65, of whom more than 5 million live alone. With the number of permanently single people in their 40s and 50s continuing to grow, this is a new, important segment and one that’s not […]

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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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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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Feb 15

Both young and old lead shift to online shopping

Non-store retailing continues to grow faster than any other channel, with major retailers now developing serious online alternatives to their physical stores. Men are still the primary buyers online, and more women still prefer catalogues, but shopping by mobile or tablet is the fastest growing browsing method. Meanwhile there have been improvements in online store […]

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