- Direct selling declined in current value by 3% in 2013. Demand for direct selling in Japan has been declining consistently over the course of the last decade, with various factors influencing this decline. One of the major obstacles faced by direct selling companies in Japan is the negative image of direct selling which has resulted from widely reported incidences of dishonest business practices among rogue direct sellers. According to National Consumer Affairs Centre of Japan (NCAC), 106,572 complaints related to direct selling were filed in the country during 2011. The most vulnerable consumer segment is elderly people, many of whom tend to stay home alone during the day. The tendency to attempt to swindle the elderly is particularly prevalent among single level marketing direct selling operations. Consumers aged over 70 years old accounted for 36% of the total number of complaints relating to direct selling through single level marketing schemes reported to the NCAC during 2011. Some elderly Japanese people even purchase products just to have direct selling agents keep them company. Others have dementia, which prevents them from being able to make an informed purchasing decision. Even though this data has not been updated since 2011, such predatory tendencies among rogue elements in Japan’s direct selling landscape continued to reinforce the negative image of direct selling among Japanese consumers during 2013.
- Japan Consumers Cooperative Union maintained its leading position in direct selling in 2013 with a 27% value share. The company operates in multiple retailing channels, including store-based retailing, internet retailing, homeshopping and direct selling. Among sales orders made by telephone or fax, sales of its private label products are categorised under direct selling, while those of branded products fall under homeshopping. With the growing population of elderly consumers among the Japanese population, Co-op Mirai started its order-taking service in Saitama prefecture in 2011. As part of this service, Co-op’s customer service personnel place phone calls to its registered customers on a regular basis, taking orders from those who wish to order products, delivering any products ordered to the doorsteps of customers on the following day. The service has been praised as a way of supporting lonely elderly people and preventing the unfortunate unattended deaths of elderly people living on their own as customer service and delivery personnel can regularly check on the safety of elderly customers. Although the company’s value sales declined by 1% in 2013, such an innovative business targeting the elderly is very promising in Japan and is expected to contribute to the company’s positive growth during the forecast period.
- Direct selling in Japan is expected to decline in constant value at a CAGR of 2% over the forecast period, falling to ¥1.5 trillion in 2018. Improving the image of direct selling is one of the most urgent tasks for Japan’s direct selling companies, slowing down the pace of decline in value sales. As the majority of the complaints about aggressive and pushy rogue direct selling agents are reported by members of Japan’s elderly population, it is essential for the country’s direct sellers to establish their image as being friendly to the elderly population. In addition, the proportion of the Japanese population aged over 65 years old is expected to rise to 28% of the country’s entire population in 2018, according to projections prepared from Euromonitor International data. As such, one key strategy for direct selling companies during the forecast period is set to be tailoring direct selling formats to be useful and helpful for the country’s elderly population. As an example, not only direct sellers but also companies engaged in other industries are launching order-taking services in addition to their main businesses. As Japan’s elderly people tend to face difficulties when purchasing groceries and commodities at supermarkets, these order-taking services have so far been highly appreciated. Other promising products for the order-taking service are consumer health products given the increasing popularity of vitamins and dietary supplements among elderly people. In order to wipe out the negative image of direct selling, direct sellers are expected to offer services that meet the elderly people’s needs.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Direct Selling industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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The Direct Selling in Japan market research report includes:
- Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
- Detailed market shares for international and locally-based retailers
- Historic 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:
- Who are the leading retailers in Japan?
- How important is direct selling in Japan?
- How is the direct selling channel being affected by the growth of internet retailing?
- What strategies are direct sellers employing to compete in a multi-channel environment?
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.
Table of Contents
Direct Selling in Japan - Category Analysis
- Table 1 Direct Selling Agents 2010-2012
- Table 2 Direct Selling by Category: Value 2008-2013
- Table 3 Direct Selling by Category: % Value Growth 2008-2013
- Table 4 Direct Selling Company Shares: % Value 2009-2013
- Table 5 Direct Selling Brand Shares: % Value 2010-2013
- Table 6 Direct Selling Forecasts by Category: Value 2013-2018
- Table 7 Direct Selling Forecasts by Category: % Value Growth 2013-2018
Retailing in Japan - Industry Context
Positive signs for the retailing industry as new economic policy is pursued
Focusing on senior citizens as primary consumers
M-commerce expands to other product categories
Convenience stores players intensify efforts in a crowded category
Tax increases to effect all retail channels in the near future
KEY TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
Strong growth in mobile internet retailing is changing the e-commerce landscape
Retailing which caters specifically to the elderly continues to grow
Consumers spend ahead of planned tax hike and retailers brace for headwinds
- Table 8 Employment in Retailing 2008-2013
- Table 9 Sales in Retailing by Channel: Value 2008-2013
- Table 10 Sales in Retailing by Channel: % Value Growth 2008-2013
- Table 11 Sales in Store-Based Retailing by Channel: Value 2008-2013
- Table 12 Store-Based Retailing Outlets by Channel: Units 2008-2013
- Table 13 Sales in Store-Based Retailing by Channel: % Value Growth 2008-2013
- Table 14 Store-Based Retailing Outlets by Channel: % Unit Growth 2008-2013
- Table 15 Sales in Non-store Retailing by Channel: Value 2008-2013
- Table 16 Sales in Non-store Retailing by Channel: % Value Growth 2008-2013
- Table 17 Sales in Retailing by Grocery vs Non-Grocery: 2008-2013
- Table 18 Non-Grocery Retailers: Value Sales, Outlets and Selling Space 2008-2013
- Table 19 Sales in Non-Grocery Retailers by Channel: Value 2008-2013
- Table 20 Non-Grocery Retailers Outlets by Channel: Units 2008-2013
- Table 21 Sales in Non-Grocery Retailers by Channel: % Value Growth 2008-2013
- Table 22 Non-Grocery Retailers Outlets by Channel: % Unit Growth 2008-2013
- Table 23 Retailing Company Shares: % Value 2009-2013
- Table 24 Retailing Brand Shares: % Value 2010-2013
- Table 25 Store-Based Retailing Company Shares: % Value 2009-2013
- Table 26 Store-Based Retailing Brand Shares: % Value 2010-2013
- Table 27 Store-Based Retailing Brand Shares: Outlets 2010-2013
- Table 28 Non-store Retailing Company Shares: % Value 2009-2013
- Table 29 Non-store Retailing Brand Shares: % Value 2010-2013
- Table 30 Non-Grocery Retailers Company Shares: % Value 2009-2013
- Table 31 Non-Grocery Retailers Brand Shares: % Value 2010-2013
- Table 32 Non-Grocery Retailers Brand Shares: Outlets 2010-2013
- Table 33 Non-Grocery Retailers Brand Shares: Selling Space 2010-2013
- Table 34 Forecast Sales in Retailing by Channel: Value 2013-2018
- Table 35 Forecast Sales in Retailing by Channel: % Value Growth 2013-2018
- Table 36 Forecast Sales in Store-Based Retailing by Channel: Value 2013-2018
- Table 37 Forecast Store-Based Retailing Outlets by Channel: Units 2013-2018
- Table 38 Forecast Sales in Store-Based Retailing by Channel: % Value Growth 2013-2018
- Table 39 Forecast Store-Based Retailing Outlets by Channel: % Unit Growth 2013-2018
- Table 40 Forecast Sales in Non-store Retailing by Channel: Value 2013-2018
- Table 41 Forecast Sales in Non-store Retailing by Channel: % Value Growth 2013-2018
- Table 42 Non-Grocery Retailers Forecasts: Value Sales, Outlets and Selling Space 2013-2018
- Table 43 Forecast Sales in Non-Grocery Retailers by Channel: Value 2013-2018
- Table 44 Forecast Non-Grocery Retailers Outlets by Channel: Units 2013-2018
- Table 45 Forecast Sales in Non-Grocery Retailers by Channel: % Value Growth 2013-2018
- Table 46 Forecast Non-Grocery Retailers Outlets by Channel: % Unit Growth 2013-2018
- Summary 1 Standard Opening Hours by Channel Type 2013
- Summary 2 Research Sources