GAP (Picture – MSN and BFM News)
“Gap Inc., under pressure to turn around operations amid a prolonged sales slump, said it plans to close all its Old Navy stores in Japan and some Banana Republics mostly outside of North America by the end of its business year.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Gap Inc said Thursday that it is shuttering 75 Old Navy and Banana Republic stores outside North America as the struggling company looks to focus on regions where it sees it has the greatest potential for success. The closures include all 53 Old Navy stores in Japan. The closures represent just a fraction of the over 3,700 stores it operates globally. Gap has long been struggling, unable to get shoppers to buy its clothes without offering big discounts” (Japan Today)
“Ces dernières semaines, les entreprises du secteur du prêt-à-porter ont annoncé des résultats tous plus mauvais les uns que les autres, qui ont fait lourdement chuter leurs titres en Bourse. Elles pâtissent de la concurrence des vendeurs en ligne dont les politiques commerciales sont plébiscitées par les consommateurs. Gap, fondé il y a 47 ans, doit aussi affronter les fers de lance de la “fast retail” que sont H&M, Zara et Uniqlo qui renouvellent fréquemment leurs collections afin de coller aux goûts d’un public adolescent porté sur les achats sur l’internet.” (BFM Business/MSN)
GAP has been operating in Japan for a while. It is probably good news for rivals like UNIQLO, Zara, H&M and others. So, will it make a difference in the very dynamic Japanese Apparel/Retail landscape or is it going to be “business as usual” for the Japanese consumers? What do you think?
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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