Japan retail market: growth, e-commerce and business opportunities

Japan: one of the biggest economies on the planet.

The Japanese retail industry is dubbed as being a sophisticated market and is the 3rd largest market for fashion after China and USA. Over the years, the country’s retail sector has been exhibiting moderate growth. Currently, there are around 3,124 shopping malls, 52,417 convenience stores and 240 department stores spread across Japan. In the Shinjuku Isetan Department Store Alone, retail sales amount to about 720 million JPY per day. As the country prepares for the Tokyo Olympic Games, national retail sales are expected to reach about 4 trillion JPY by 2020.


E-commerce Market

Compared to other countries, the e-commerce ratio in Japan is relatively lower. But the good news is that many service providers have already entered the market. It is projected that by 2020 there will be an increase in online sales.

Based on 2012 figures, consumer electronics and appliances captured 21% of online retail sales category, 18% of apparel,12% of food and drink, 6% of homeware and furniture and other products account for 43%.

Japan’s Home Furnishing Sector

The country recently suffered from deflation, a decrease in the price level of goods and services. One of the affected sectors was the home furnishing market which experienced a downward trend. But as the housing market is picking up, the home furnishing sector is also starting to recover. In the mid-price segment, competition is not so stiff which gives opportunities for business brands to target customers looking for high-quality products with value for money.

Skin Care Market

Japan is globally famous for its advanced skincare market. It is popular for its premium products, the overall value of which amount to 1228 billion JPY. These items include serums, scalp care products, moisturizers and more. The men’s care segment amounts to 114 billion JPY. With Japanese brands known for their effective products, the country is projected to occupy the largest skincare market in Asia.

Senior Citizens Market

Apart from capturing the retail opportunities for the younger group, there is an untapped elderly market. Over the years, the elder age bracket in Japan has purchasing power. On an average, the savings of the elderly group amount to about 23 million JPY. One-fourth of the country’s population is comprised of elders aged 65 years old and more. By 2025, the population will reach 36 million.

According to market research, many business opportunities in Japan are due to the upcoming Olympics in 2020. The retail sector holds immense potential for thematic home and lifestyle products. The convenience of E-commerce is yet to be fully explored and this too presents itself as a viable business opportunity as does the budding senior citizens group in Japan who are now ready to spend their accumulated wealth and savings.

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