Bounce back for apparel in 2012
Japanese apparel experienced a bounce back in 2012 after the devastating effects of the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011 and prolonged economic concerns. Current value sales increased due to the growing average spend per customer, particularly evident in women’s outerwear, childrenswear, and sportswear. While previously, consumers refrained from purchasing discretionary products including clothing and footwear, they began to buy more premium and high-quality apparel which lasts longer than the simple, economy items. Frequent innovations in advanced functional clothing also increased the unit price and supported value sales of apparel in Japan.
Increasing concerns about labour costs increase for manufacturing in China
In response to the labour costs increase for manufacturing in China, Japanese apparel companies shifted their production volume from China to South East Asian countries. Another issue that arose was the relationship with China. Due to the territorial disputes of surrounding islands, Japan faced an increasingly deteriorating relationship with China. Some Japanese companies even decided to open factories in undeveloped countries like Myanmar, searching for potential locations to keep their prices competitive in apparel.
International new players enter Japan apparel
Apparel in Japan is a highly established competitive landscape with many different brands by both domestic and international players. In 2012, additional new international brands entered apparel in Japan, including American Eagle Outfitters and Old Navy. These two popular US retailers planned and implemented unique marketing strategies to differentiate from domestic players. On the other hand, local companies viewed the performance of these new players closely in an already crowded environment.
Internet retailing becomes more competitive in 2012
While apparel specialist retailers remained as the dominant channel for distribution, internet retailing was the highest growing channel in Japan’s apparel landscape. Japanese consumers became more comfortable using online shopping. With busy lifestyles in particular, consumers used internet retailing as a convenient and valuable tool to purchase what they want without having to actually visit the bricks-and-mortar store. In the meantime, department stores declined slowly over the review period. To combat this, leading operator Mitsukoshi Isetan department stores initiated the delay of its summer sales two weeks from the regular dates on 1 July to sell the latest products at regular prices for a longer time period.
Positive forecast period growth expected for apparel
The outlook for apparel in Japan is expected to decline over the forecast period, driven by the decreasing population. Compared with the review period, value sales are expected to record a milder decline because the unit price increase is expected to continue, which will be influenced by the potential consumption tax hike to 8% in 2014 and 10% in 2015. In addition, manufacturers such as Uniqlo and Toray will continue to invest in advances for technology to create high-tech clothes with newly developed fabrics which will require unit price increase.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Apparel and Footwear industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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If you're in the Apparel and Footwear industry in Japan, our research will save you time and money while empowering you to make informed, profitable decisions.
The Apparel and Footwear in Japan market research report includes:
- Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
- Detailed segmentation of international and local products
- Historic volumes and values, company and brand market shares
- Five year forecasts of market trends and market growth
- Robust and transparent market research methodology, conducted in-country
Our market research reports answer questions such as:
- What is the market size of Apparel and Footwear in Japan?
- What are the major brands in Japan?
- How dynamic is the growth of clothing and footwear internet sales?
- What is the performance of women’s clothing vs men’s clothing?
- What % of clothing and footwear sales goes through grocery retailers?
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Clothing and Footwear market research database.