Retail in Japan
“Japanese retail giant Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd. said Friday its Ito-Yokado Co. supermarket chain will shut down 40 unprofitable stores, or about 20 percent of its stores, over the next few years.
It is expected to close several stores within its current business year ending in February 2016.
The plan comes after the operating profit for the retail group’s supermarket division in the year to last February plunged 34.8 percent from a year earlier amid a consumer tendency to prefer specialty stores such as the Uniqlo casual clothing chain over general supermarkets.” (The Japan Times)
Today’s Japanese consumers seem to prefer “specialty stores” over general supermarkets. This is one of the changes to the traditional Japanese Consumer Mindset. Which one do you prefer and why?
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Japanese Kotatsu (Wikipedia)
“IKEA celebrates a decade in Japan next year with various special events and promotions. Since opening its first store in Chiba in 2006, the iconic Swedish home–furnishings provider has expanded to eight locations across the country.
IKEA is transforming into a multi-channel retailer.
Our customers today are changing; and people are much more digital, as well as physical, in the way that they shop. They want to shop when they want and how they want. IKEA needs to change with that. So we are doing that. We are very much looking at how can we then be available; when somebody wants a sofa or a phone, they then start their shopping experience. It doesn’t literally mean going to visit a physical store.
The physical store will always be our competitive advantage. A 40,000-square-metre store, being a fun day out with a food offer and a store to wander around in — with furniture and accessories, and areas for the kids to play — will always attract people. But we want to be more than that. So we will have a new web platform — and e-commerce that we will introduce — to make it so you can shop once you see things on the web as well. And we need to become closer to our customers, so we’re going to try new formats — even smaller IKEA locations — to order [products], have them delivered and picked up closer to the customers.” (EUROBIZ Japan)
In order to succeed in Japan’s Retail, you have got to adapt, localise and develop your offer. Multi-channel strategies and new formats are often advisable. This is a good example. What do you think?
Read more from: IKEA and the Japanese Home Furniture Market