29 May 2008
Jill by Jill Stuart Plans Store Expansion
Sanei International to open standalone Shibuya shop in August read on >>

Sanei International will be opening multiple stores for Jill Stuart's second line Jill by Jill Stuart starting later this year. A standalone store will open in Shibuya during August with 125 square-meters of selling space. The Shibuya shop will be a bit of a select shop, selling other Sanei brands like Play by C. Ronson. 30% of items for sale will be undergarments. 

Three other 132 square-meter-sized shops are planned to start popping up in fashion buildings soon. By the third year of this plan, there should be 10 Jill by Jill Stuart shops across Japan, with yearly revenue around ¥3 billion. 

Keywords: Sanei International
29 May 2008
Adidas to Offer Tokyoites a Free Morning Yoga Class
"adidas Morning Yogini in Tokyo" kicks off on June 25 for 30 lucky women read on >>

Adidas Japan has announced a June 25 start for its new free yoga class "adidas Morning Yogini in Tokyo." The program is targeted at urban women and will be held at the sports gym Tipness One Hibiya near Ginza. The class will start at 7:30 am and last for one hour.

Those interested in participating will be able to register at stores in Roppongi Hills, Ikebukuro, and Ginza from May 30 (And at the Harajuku store from June 14). There will then be a lottery to determine the 30 chosen participants.

Keywords: adidas
28 May 2008
Muji to Open Second NY Store
"No-brand" brand headed for Times Square read on >>

Mujirushi Ryohin — aka MUJI — will open its second U.S. retail location in New York's Times Square on May 30. The store will be located on the ground floor of the New York Times building and have around 400 square-meters of selling space, three times the size of the Soho store opened last year.

MUJI expects ¥450 million in revenue for the first year.

Keywords: MUJI
26 May 2008
Restir Tokyo to Close Ginza Shop
Luxury select shop chain reduced to just Tokyo Midtown location read on >>

Luxury select shop Restir Tokyo will close its Ginza location at the end of July. This is Restir's second store closing after the Kobe location shut its doors in February, leaving only the Tokyo Midtown store open for business.

The Ginza store originally opened in September of 2001. Located on Namiki-doori and modeled in solid black, Restir Ginza had a stylish and spacious 800 square-meters of selling-space over two floors. The store also contained a bar/lounge. 

With its one remaining store, Restir is aiming for ¥2 billion in yearly revenue.



Keywords: Restir Holdings
23 May 2008
Itochu to Restructure Brand Business
CoronetпјЊHunting World Japan, Converse Japan, Liond'or to merge read on >>

Trading company Itochu has publicized plans to restructure its brand business. Around July, Itochu will merge its subsidiaries Coronet (mila schön, lucien pellat-finet), Hunting World Japan, Converse Japan, and men's suit maker Liond'or into a single unit under a holding company. The net sales for this new business unit should be hit around ¥15 billion.

These changes in corporate structure come after a strong euro damaged Itochu's import business. Having all companies together in a single business aims to ensure greater management efficiency.

Keywords: Itochu
23 May 2008
Orizzonti Sees Good Sales for Vivienne Westwood Licensed Goods
Profits grew 10% in last fiscal year read on >>

Japanese fashion company Orizzonti Co., Ltd. is reporting a 10% increase in profitability for its Vivienne Westwood license, in the fiscal year ending March 2008. Orizzonti attributes the growth to a loyal fan base and high interest in the brand's accessories. 

For the first time, Orizzonti's Japanese licensed goods have started to outsell Westwood imports. In the past, the ratio of sales was 4:6 license to imports, where it has now flipped to 6:4. The high exchange for euros, however, hurt the competitiveness of the imported goods.


Keywords: Vivienne Westwood
22 May 2008
Isetan and Mitsukoshi Unveil Charity Designer T-shirts
ВҐ1000 of ВҐ5000 price tag goes to moreTrees environmental project read on >>

t-shirt collection
Recently-merged Isetan and Mitsukoshi department stores have launched a joint charity initiative where both stores will sell ¥5000 t-shirts designed by some of the hottest Japanese and global names in fashion in order to raise money for the world's forests. The "Bonds with Designers" project will dedicate ¥1000 yen of each shirt sold to the environmental charity moreTrees. The selected designers each made a t-shirt design based on the idea of "sympathy" and an "affluent future," which will be sold in two men's and women's sizes.

Sales reservations commenced online on May 19, and customers will be able to actually purchase the shirts at select Isetan and Mitsukoshi locations from May 27 to June 10.

Participating brands and designers include Attachment, Anna Sui, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Etro, Carven, Gucci, Kris Van Assche, Keita Maruyama Tokyo Paris, CoSTUME NATIONAL, Salvatore Ferragamo, charlotte ronson, GiAMBATTiSTA VALLi, Stephen Jones, Celine, DSQUARED2, Dior, Dress Camp, Nina Ricci, Hysteric Glamour, Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers (Thom Browne), Paul Smith, Maurizio Pecoraro, Moschino, and rebecca taylor.


Keywords: Mitsukoshi , eco-consciousness , Isetan
22 May 2008
Mango Preparing for Tokyo Flagship in 2009
Spanish company unifies Japanese operations to global brand in anticipation read on >>

MNG Japan — Japanese subsidiary of Spanish brand Mango — has hinted that it is currently in preparation to open a flagship Tokyo store for Mango in 2009.

After moving out of a franchising agreement and becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Spanish parent company two years ago, MNG Japan is now able to better unify its Japan branding with the global strategy. The look of the new shop within Lalaport Tokyo Bay, for example, is based on the New York Soho global flagship.

MNG Japan currently operates seven shops across Japan. The flagship in Tokyo will be a part of a larger initiative to increase brand recognition.  

22 May 2008
Sanyo Shokai to Expand Women's Burberry Black Label Stores Aggresively in 2009
Contemporary Collection Line performs well in its initial test read on >>

Sanyo Shokai is planning to actively expand the number of retail locations for Burberry Black Label's ladies line, starting in autumn 2009.

The brand has been selling relatively well in recent days, topping the "Young Character" category in Senken Shimbun's "Men's Buyer Award." Five recently-opened shops in department stores are apparently performing on target. Burberry Black Label's test "Contemporary Collection Line" sold exclusively in Ginza and at Shinjuku Isetan has attracted a good customer base amongst women (thanks to heavy magazine advertorial and a constant tweaking of the silhouette to customer demands), and sales at the Ginza location have almost doubled.

Sanyo will concentrate the remainder of the year on increasing sales for pre-existing stores before launching an expansion for autumn 2009.

22 May 2008
Itochu Signs Exclusive Sales and Import Contract with Alexandra Neel
"Corset" shoe brand headed for Japanese retail in SS09 read on >>

Japanese trading company Itochu has signed an exclusive import and sales contract with designer "corset" women's shoe brand Alexandra Neel.

The product will make its way into department stores and select shops for spring/summer 2009, with help from Japanese fashion company Almond Eye.

Keywords: shoes , Itochu
21 May 2008
Louis Vuitton Opens "Maison LV" within PoupГ©e Girl
An expensive virtual boutique for fashion avatars read on >>

Vuitton at Poupee

Louis Vuitton has opened a virtual boutique "Maison Louis Vuitton" within the Japanese fashion avatar website Poupée Girl.

Poupée Girl is a site where users create cartoon "avatars" and dress these characters up in clothes bought with the in-site "ribbon" currency. Users win more ribbons by taking pictures of their own clothing and then "virtually" selling those inside of the site world at flea markets. Actual product exchange and sales, however, are forbidden. Everything must remain in the virtual world. 

Now with the recently-opened "Maison Louis Vuitton," girls can finally outfit their avatars in Louis Vuitton monogram bags and apparel — but at a steep price. Bags cost between 500-700 ribbons, which is not an easy amount to amass. Maison Louis Vuitton even offers a virtual version of the brand new Damier Neverfull bag.

Users unfortunately cannot purchase actual Louis Vuitton goods through Poupée, but a link from the virtual bag will go directly to the real product on LV's online commerce website.

Poupée's userbase size is unknown, although the site activities seem to suggest a teen audience. Poupée is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cyberagent.

20 May 2008
Onward to Open Mobile Phone Info Site
Apparel giant to provide information on 33 brands to phone users read on >>

Leading apparel manufacturer Onward Kashiyama will open a comprehensive mobile phone site on June 1 called "Onward Mobile Site" (http://onward-m.jp). The site will provide information on 33 total brands — including men, ladies, sports, and children's clothing — and allow users to search 3,300 stores nationwide. Although the site does not feature e-commerce, phone numbers and location maps will facilitate the shopping process. Users who become registered members of the site (a free service) will receive mail updates on their favorite brands.

Onward has already created unique mobile sites for brands 23ku, anyFAM, Dolly Girl by Anna Sui, and Kumikyoku Kids

Most young female Japanese consumers use their mobile phones as the primary means of viewing the internet, rather than personal computers. This makes it critical for fashion retailers to offer brand information on phones as well as general internet sites.

Keywords: Onward Kashiyama
20 May 2008
Sankyo Seiko Reorganizing Fashion Business Around Daks
Daks' luxury ladies line to be discontinued read on >>

Apparel manufacturer Sankyo Seiko has announced plans to reorganize its fashion business, centered around main brand Daks. The company will aim to transform itself from a wholesaling operation to a license business.

Sankyo has recently been hit with losses in its fashion division — ¥516 million in FY2008 — due to large number of returns and issues in stock management. Revenues dropped 5.7% percent in FY2008 to ¥25,260 million. While Asian sales of Daks experienced a healthy 7% increase, overall Daks revenue was down 4.4% to ¥6,252 million. Daks UK saw last year's ¥900 million net losses expand this year into ¥1,500 million losses.

The company is looking to get back into the black through optimizing product stock levels, re-examining underperforming stores, and rationalizing the subsidiaries. From autumn 2008, Sankyo will discontinue the Daks luxury ladies line started in 2005 and dismiss the collection's new designer Giles Deacon.

Sankyo originally bought Daks for $125.45 million in 1991.

Keywords: Sankyo Seiko
20 May 2008
Louis Vuitton to Open Largest Store Ever in Ginza
To open in autumn 2010 on Harumi-doori read on >>

Louis Vuitton has announced plans to open its largest store ever in the Tokyo neighborhood of Ginza in the autumn of 2010. The store will face Harumi-dori — the avenue cutting across the main Ginza intersection and home to Coach, Dior, and Hermes. Louis Vuitton will take up floors one through ten of the yet-to-be-completed 12-story Hulic Sukiyabashi building.

The 7,000 square-meters of space for this new location will be much larger than the 1,800 square-meter Paris flagship store, which is currently the largest LV store in the world. This new Ginza store will not only sell product but also house a LV-branded restaurant.

This will be the third LV store in Ginza, including one in Matsuya department store and one on Namiki Street. 

Keywords: Ginza , Louis Vuitton
20 May 2008
Kurino and Two Others to Step Down from United Arrows Board
Chief Creative Officer Kurino to stay on as advisor read on >>

Three executive directors of select shop chain United Arrows will step down from their positions on June 23, including Hirofumi Kurino — UA's Chief Creative Officer and a founding member of the company. Directors Koichi Mizunoya and Yatsuhiro Sagawa will also leave their posts.

Kurino will stay at UA as an advisor, but his specific management position has yet to be announced. 

Keywords: select shops , United Arrows
19 May 2008
H&M to Open in Shibuya
Third store location announced read on >>

With flagship stores in Ginza and Harajuku planned for autumn openings, Swedish fast-fashion brand has announced the first details of another retail location to open in Shibuya. The store will sit in the remnants of the Book First store near Tokyu — a six to seven minute walk from Shibuya Station. This giant 2,800 square-meter store will open in autumn of 2009.

H&M is currently running press previews of its initial product offerings in Tokyo after a solid year of "Japanese market study." Although expectations are high for Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo collaboration line, it is still unclear whether mainstream Japanese consumers will go for H&M's collection-trend euro chic. Nevertheless, H&M should gain massive publicity for their openings this fall, and consumers will soon make their voices heard. 

Keywords: H&M , Shibuya
19 May 2008
Sanyo Shokai's "Coat Project" Streamlines Down Jacket Production
Plan extended to all brands read on >>

Leading manufacturer Sanyo Shokai has now extended its "Coat Project" from last autumn to all brands in an attempt to streamline the production route for winter down jackets. Sanyo has reduced the number of companies and factories and signed on to a select few to co-produce all down coats for the myriad Sanyo brands.

This management step seeks to simplify production, raise quality standards, and lower costs. 

Sanyo Shokai originally used 11 trading companies and 7 factories in their production of women's wear, but they have since reduced this to 2 trading companies (Mitsui and Mitsubishi) and 5 factories in China. This will give Sanyo greater control over quality issues in Chinese production.


Keywords: Sanyo Shokai
19 May 2008
Itochu Has Renewed Hopes for Mario Valentino
Aiming for ВҐ10 billion sales level in three years time read on >>

As reported in the Senken Shimbun on May 17, trading company Itochu is experiencing high sales for licensed brand Mario Valentino. Sub-licensees' revenues were up 10% from the previous year for the period between July 2007 and March 2008. Itochu sees the key to success in the brand's transformation from a gift line to a men's business line.

Itochu's Mario Valentino license currently incorporates 27 companies producing 30 items. Net sales currently hit around ¥7 billion. In the early 1990s, the brand had been raking in revenues at the ¥12-13 billion level, but with the drop off of the gift market in the late 1990s, sales for Valentino dropped. Launching into apparel sales, however, countered this downward trajectory and brought the brand to its current state of renewed growth. 

Itochu now hopes to hit the ¥10 billion sales level again in three years, investigating the feasibility of importing Italian leather goods and turning the men's line into a total coordinated brand.

Keywords: Itochu
14 May 2008
Marui Group Posts Second Consecutive Year of Revenue Losses
Closing of five stores and a drop in interest rates to blame read on >>

The Marui Group — of Marui shopping buildings and the Marui credit card — has announced a second year of decreased net sales and decreased profits in its yearly report. Revenues stood at ¥493.533 billion in the term ending March 2008 — a 10.6% drop from the previous year. The closing of five stores including Nakano contributed to these losses, as well as a decrease in interest rates related to Marui's credit card.

The overall consumer climate also led to a drop in revenue, with the sales base of pre-existing stores at -2.6%.

The much-publicized Marui Yurakucho location — opened in October — brought in ¥12.6 billion in revenues for its first six months.

Related Stories:

Market Tutorial: Tokyo Fashion Buildings (including information on Marui) 

Keywords: Marui
14 May 2008
Isetan Shows Fifth Year of Revenue Increase, Fourth Year of Profit Increase
Highest revenues in history read on >>

Department store Isetan posted ¥785.839 billion in net sales for FY2008 — the highest revenues ever recorded for the company. This makes a five-year consecutive increase in net sales and a four-year increase in profits. Net profits, however, were down 24.8% due to the posting of an extraordinary loss on the sale of the Isetan's Kokura location.

There was a ¥13.4 billion reduction in revenues from the sale of Barney's Japan and a change in the Isetan Iwata accounting period, but Isetan's non-consolidated business saw increased revenues of ¥7.1 billion.

Keywords: Isetan
14 May 2008
Renown to Cut Two Brands in Fall and Integrate Two Others
Glasieux and Maghreb get the cut, Marsa and Lady Renown to become part of Tisa read on >>

Struggling apparel manufacturer Renown has announced further plans to streamline its brand offerings. In autumn of this year, Renown will discontinue 20-something ladies brand Glasieux (created in 1997 as part of the AneCan launch) and 40-something-targeted brand Le maghreb.

Furthermore, development will cease on young knit brand Marsa and bottoms brand Lady Renown. Both will be incorporated into the Tisa select shop under the Tisa name. (Tisa is a select shop aimed at older married women.)

Glasieux currently has eight stores, while Le maghreb has 15. 

Related Article:

Market Tutorial: The Big Four Apparel Manufacturers 

Keywords: Renown
13 May 2008
Richemont Japan Increases Cartier Sales by 20% in Three Years
Greatest revenues ever for the brand in Japan read on >>

In the last three years, Richemont Japan has achieved a 20% increase in net sales for luxury brand Cartier — recording the brand's highest revenues ever in Japan.

In particular, the high-end men's Ballon Bleu watch series and the women's Marcello de Cartier leather handbag drew in serious customers. Bridal goods for those 28-32 also sold well.

Cartier's recent success seems to support theories that the Japanese market is bifurcating into "high-end luxury" for the upper classes and "affordable luxury" for the struggling middle classes. Cartier has established itself as the "upper peak of high-end goods" — an image that seems to easily find an audience with the moneyed class.

Keywords: Richemont Group , Cartier
13 May 2008
Urban Research to Open "kagure" Store in Omotesando
Two-story standalone shop for "earth-conscious" ladies brand to open in November read on >>

Japanese select shop chain Urban Research will open a standalone store in Omotesando for their brand kagure in November. The women's brand is based on the three pillars of "trad + high fashion (mode) + the Earth." The apparel uses mostly organic materials.

The store will be two stories and 100 square-meters, located near Omotesando Hills as part of a new three-building complex. 

Related Story:

Japanese Select Shops Tutorial 

12 May 2008
Richemont Japan to Sell Cartier Online for First Time
Items for sale up to ВҐ1,000,000 on E-Boutique read on >>

Richemont Japan will offer the first online sales ever for high-end brand Cartier on the e-commerce site E-Boutique. Jewelry, leather goods, and watches will be sold, with the highest-priced items topping ¥1 million.

Richemont Japan is using this retail channel in an attempt to reach new customers, especially men, aged 20-35. 

Keywords: Richemont Group , Cartier
12 May 2008
Tokyo Department Stores to Adopt Isetan System
Alliance comes into play with the Toyoko Store in Shibuya Station taking on Isetan's merchandising know-how read on >>

As a product of the March 27, 2007 business alliance between Tokyu department stores and Isetan department stores, Tokyu will introduce Isetan's corporate merchandisng planning flow system. The introduction of the system will start this autumn/winter with the Toyoko store in Shibuya Station as the test model. If successful, Tokyu aims to completely integrate the merchandising system with Isetan in ten years.


Keywords: Tokyu , Isetan
08 May 2008
Louis Vuitton Japan Raises Prices 1.5% on Average
Adjusting for production cost increases in France and currency exchange costs read on >> Due to increases in production costs as well as currency fluctuations, Louis Vuitton Japan will raise prices 1.5% on average for Louis Vuitton bags, watches, and jewelry from May 16.
02 May 2008
Shinmaru Building Sees ВҐ26 billion in Net Sales in Single Year
Mitsubishi Estate's new Marunouchi complex has a good start read on >>

Mitsubishi Estate has reported ¥26 billion in net sales for the first year of its Shinmaru (New Marunouchi Building) development project. This result exceeded the original ¥22 billion revenue projections, with the restaurants greatly contributing.

Total customers reached 25 million.  

Keywords: Mitsubishi


May 01 2008
Takeji Hirakawa
An interview with Japanese fashion critic Takeji Hirakawa.


May 01 2008
The Big Four Apparel Manufacturers
A guide to the largest apparel conglomerates in Japan


May 15 2008
Cher Scores with Eco Bag
Cutesy surf-inspired brand hits it big with a blue-and-red tote bag
Keywords: select shops , eco-consciousness , Ladies
May 01 2008
Girls Fashion Talk #1
We threw a low-key focus group to discuss how real girls feel about today's fashion


May 29 2008
Tokyo Street Photos for May
Spring has sprung!
May 01 2008
Tokyo Street Photos for April
Spring trends in full bloom.