Jeans had already been struggling to achieve growth over the decade preceding the COVID-19 crisis, but was hit even harder in the first year of the pandemic, in 2020, seeing double-digit retail volume and current value declines due to the temporary closure of non-essential retailers and consumers’ reluctance to spend. Jeans returned to growth in Japan in 2021, but this was at a slow pace.
Thanks to maintaining a high share in premium jeans, Itochu Corp continued to lead jeans in Japan in value terms in 2021. The company owns multiple premium jeans brands in the country, including Edwin, and also has licences in Japan for international brands such as Wrangler and Lee.
Jeans brands in Japan are actively collaborating with pop culture icons from games and anime. Edwin from Itochu Corp collaborated with a legendary anime series called Gundam in June 2021.
Jeans is expected to post positive but only low current value growth in Japan over the forecast period, with retail volume sales expected to return to decline by 2024. Even in value terms, by the end of the forecast period in 2026, sales of jeans are not forecast to have returned to the pre-COVID-19 level, seen in 2019.
The sustainability of producing jeans, especially light coloured jeans and jeans with vintage effects, is often questioned. For example, when producing light coloured jeans, a large amount of water is used to create the faded colour on the denim.
The shift towards e-commerce seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, underpinned by home seclusion, remote working and studying, store closures and concerns about viral transmission through social contact, is likely to have an enduring impact on consumer behaviour during the forecast period. This is set to lead to a lasting shift from store-based sales (particularly from department stores) to online sales.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Jeans industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
If you're in the Jeans industry in Japan, our research will help you to make informed, intelligent decisions; to recognise and profit from opportunity, or to offer resilience amidst market uncertainty.
This report originates from Passport, our Jeans research and analysis database.
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