Find distributors and sales channels in Japan

Our local teams will do the work

Finding distributors or retail sales channels might be straightforward, but discovering the right one that drives revenue for your business is a real challenge.

With our Distributor Search service we make this task significantly easier for you! Our local teams have the knowledge, a vast network of distributors and retail channels and a proven methodology.

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Find the right retail channels in Japan

Japan is known for its unique blend of traditional and modern culture. As of 2023, Japan has a population of about 125 million. It is notable for its technological advancements, rich cultural heritage, and influential economy.

Japan’s economy, with a GDP per capita of around $40,000 USD in 2023, is one of the most advanced in the world. Major industries include automobiles, electronics, robotics, and manufacturing. The country is also known for its strong emphasis on research and development.

Japan’s primary imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, and raw materials for its industries.

Key cities include Tokyo, the capital and world’s largest metropolitan area; Osaka, known for its modern architecture and nightlife; Kyoto, famous for its historic temples and traditions; and Yokohama, a major port and commercial hub.

Top-3 supermarkets in Japan

Aeon: One of the largest chains with over 400 stores, offering a range of products including fresh produce, meat, seafood, household goods, and Japanese specialties like Wagyu beef, sushi, and bento boxes.

Ito-Yokado: This chain has over 170 stores and is known for its in-store bakery, wide selection of Japanese snacks and candies, and traditional treats in the “Dagashi” section.

Seijo Ishii: A high-end chain offering gourmet products such as imported cheeses, wines, chocolates, Japanese tea, miso paste, soy sauce, and a selection of beauty products.

While Aeon, Ito-Yokado, and Seijo Ishii are among the top supermarkets in Japan, convenience stores like 7-Eleven also play a significant role in the Japanese retail market. These convenience stores are integral to daily life in Japan, offering a wide range of products including ready-to-eat meals, snacks, beverages, and daily necessities.

Why choose our distributor search service?

We know the market from inside-out

We work with local teams, who already know the market, speak the language and know the business culture.

Operational from day 1

We have a clear approach for your market entry. We just need to dive into the benefits of your product, and we are ready to start.

Risk Mitigation

We help you avoid cultural misunderstandings, compliance issues, and other risks associated with entering a new market.

Continuous Support

We provide ongoing support, ensuring your new partnerships thrive and adapt to evolving business and market needs.

Strategy for Finding Your Ideal Distribution Partner in Japan

Finding the ideal distributor involves more than just a search; key is convincing the distributors or retail chains with the broadest reach to work with you. That is why we put a lot of attention on the right positioning among any competition and helping you with the right pitch.

 

1. Choose target group

  • Where are your users?
  • What distribution channels to reach them?
  • Who are the channel decision makers?
  • What is important to them?

2. Prepare your pitch

  • How do you position yourself?
  • Who is your competition?
  • What volumes and margin will you bring?
  • What data do you have to proof that?

3. Reach out

  • Approach decision makers
  • Pitch your offering & answer questions
  • Follow-up sufficiently
  • Close the deal

4. Nurture & grow

  • Arrange logistics
  • Launch your product
  • Support in marketing
  • PR & Events
  • Evaluate & optimize

…and back to the first step to search for additional channels

Typically the first steps and approaching decision makers can be done in a number of months, closing the deal and doing a launch may take longer.

Get your proposal directly

    In , our experienced business developers work for you 20 hours per month for . Every month we report on what we have done and plan actions and deliverables for the next month. This is a 12-month plan where you can scale up and down our efforts when needed.

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