29 October 2008
Eight Million to Open Shinjuku Store in December
Second location for Samantha Thavasa's new select shop will target men read on >> Samantha Thavasa, Ltd.'s new select shop Eight Million will open its second space in Tokyo's Shinjuku 3-Chome during December. This will come right at the heels of the first Eight Million store, opening in Ginza on November 1.

The Shinjuku store will be 570 square-meters and three stories, more dedicated to menswear than the Ginza space.

Eight Million's creative director is Kashiwa Sato — the man behind Uniqlo's UT t-shirt project and other high-profile designs. Toshikazu Iwatani of brand Dress Camp will be the designer of the Eight Million clothing line "Clever Joke by Eight Million."

Keywords: Samantha Thavasa , Shinjuku
29 October 2008
Shinsaibashi OPA Seventh Floor Sees 73 Million Yen in Three Days
A "Glamorous Casual Zone" after renovations read on >> On October 29, Senken Shimbun reported that Osaka shopping complex Shinsaibashi OPA saw ¥73 million revenues in the first three days for its renovated seventh floor. The floor re-opened on October 24 after a renewal to make the space a "Glamorous Casual" zone.

On Friday morning, 400 customers lined up from 7 am for a chance to shop. As promotion, many of the brands had models and celebrities do photo opportunities and lotteries in the new stores.  Brands Lip Service and Backs did especially well, selling over ¥10 million in the first three days.

OPA's seventh floor contains a total 14 brands within 693 square-meters.

The "glamorous" segment is mostly related to the post-gyaru look of magazines ViVi, Sweet, and Glamorous.

Keywords: Osaka
27 October 2008
Parco Sees Drop in Revenue for Midterm
Nagoya and Hiroshima doing well, while Shizuoka down read on >> Fashion building chain Parco has reported a 1.8% revenue decline in its midterm earnings report (for the period March to August 2008). All 20 locations posted net tenant sales of ¥123.878 billion — a 1.9% increase from the previous year's first two quarters. The existing store base, however, stood at ¥111.818 billion — a 1.8% decrease — once Shizuoka, Urawa, Sendai, and the recently-closed Atsugi are removed.

Although Nagoya and Hiroshima locations are seeing strong sales, other locations are coming upon tough times. The relatively new Shizuoka location has seen a 13.6% drop compared to the same period last year.

Individual store results:

 • Ikebukuro - ¥16.8 billion, -0.3%
 • Shibuya - ¥9.391 billion, -12.4%
 • Sapporo - ¥6.346 billion, -2.1%
 • Nagoya - ¥19.313 billion, +0.4%
 • Hiroshima - ¥9.12 billion, 0%
 • Chofu - ¥8.713 billion, -0.4%
 • Hibarigaoka - ¥4.526 billion, +12.1%
More available here.

Keywords: PARCO
27 October 2008
Offermann to Open First Japanese Store
November 28 Marunouchi opening for the German men's bag brand read on >> German men's briefcase and bag brand Offermann will open its first directly-managed Japanese store on November 28.

The location will be Tokyo's Marunouchi business district, in the first floor of the Kokusai Building. The total floor space will be around 83 square-meters.

The classic Offermann customer has been in his 50s but the new store will also try to target men in their 30s and 40s. This flagship Marunouchi shop will be a first step towards greater expansion into other Japanese distribution channels, such as department store corners.

Offermann hopes for ¥500 million in revenue for the 2009 fiscal year.

Keywords: Marunouchi , handbag
20 October 2008
Renown to Sell Off Aquascutum
Real estate and 400 employees to also be cut lose read on >> Number-three Japanese apparel company Renown Inc. has confirmed the sale of its long-time subsidiary — iconic British clothing brand Aquascutum. The buyer and timing have not been announced, although Women's Wear Daily has suggested a planned management buyout from Aquascutum CEO Kim Winser. Renown will most likely retain license rights for the brand in Japan.

Renown originally bought Aquascutum in 1990 for $120 million. But now in the midst of massive restructuring due to years of continuous underperformance, the apparel giant must take bold steps to regain profitability. In addition to the Aquascutum sale, Renown will unload a few of its key buildings in Tokyo and Osaka as well as lay off 400 employees (300 full-time, 100 contract workers). Sixteen of the lowest performing brands will be axed.

As recent as early 2008, Renown insisted that Aquascutum would be at center of the company's rebound, but analysts grew to see the British brand's sale as an inevitable step.

The sale of Aquascutum is projected to cause a ¥1.5 billion operating loss for the fiscal year ending in February 2009, although personnel costs will decrease by ¥2.7 billion.

Now hoping to get back into the black by 2010, Renown will focus resources on its best-selling D'Urban and other department store brands.

Keywords: Renown
15 October 2008
Onward Holdings Revises Consolidated Earnings Downwards
Initial expectations for growth replaced by a few double-digit negative trends read on >> Onward Holdings — parent company of Onward Kashiyama — has lowered its consolidated earning projections for the fiscal year ending in February 2009.

For net sales, Onward decreased the initial projection by ¥12 billion to ¥279 billion (a 2.8% decrease from the previous year, compared to the +1.4% increase initially expected.) Operating profits were lowered ¥4.7 billion to the new figure of ¥15.9 billion (a 14.6% decrease from the previous year, compared to the +10.6% increase initially expected.) And expectations for normal profits dropped ¥5.8 billion to ¥18.4 billion (a 23.7% decrease from the previous year, compared to the +0.3% increase initially expected).

Overseas revenue and domestic sales for the brand 23ku have been strong, but overall sluggish market conditions are expected to bring down total revenue.

Keywords: Onward Kashiyama
15 October 2008
Sanki Signs Shipley & Halmos
Distribution through select shops and department stores read on >> Starting with spring/summer 2009, Japanese fashion importer Sanki will import and distribute American label Shipley & Halmos in Japan.

The initial distribution channel will be department stores and select shops, targeted at men in their 20s and 30s. The brand is already being sold at 24 locations, including United Arrows, Barney's New York, and Isetan. Sanki hopes to boost this number to 80 in three years time.

Sanki aims for ¥300 million in revenue for the first year and ¥700 in annual revenue by the third year.

Keywords: Sanki
14 October 2008
Takashimaya and H20 Announce Capital and Business Alliance
Complete merger of management within three years read on >> Department store Takashimaya and holding company H20 Retailing — parent to Hankyu and Hanshin department stores — have announced a basic agreement on forming a capital and business alliance.

In the past few years, Takashimaya had relied on its leading position to resist calls for mergers in a M&A-frenzied environment, but in face of rising consumer volatility and declining department store sales, the venerable retail chain has decided to finally find safety in an inter-industry partnership.

From late February 2009, the two companies will each purchase 10% of each others' shares. The business alliance will focus on lowering distribution costs and improving sales performance through joint purchasing, streamlined business flows, and human resource exchange.

Takashimaya and H20 Retailing aim for a full management merger within three years. At around ¥1.5 trillion in yearly revenue, this new corporate unit will rival, but not quite exceed the size of Isetan-Mitsukoshi Holdings. Before talk of this merger, Takashimaya was #3 in revenue and H20 Retailing was #5.

Currently four major groups have formed in the Japanese department store world: Isetan-Mitsukoshi Holdings at ¥1.56 trillion in revenue, Takashimaya-H20 Retailing at ¥1.51 trillion in revenue, J. Front Retailing (Daimaru, Matsuzakaya) at ¥1.18 trillion in revenue, and Millennium Retailing (Sogo, Seibu) at ¥970 billion in revenue.

Keywords: Mitsukoshi , Takashimaya , Hankyu , H2O Retailing , Isetan
10 October 2008
Topshop to Expand in Japan
Founds new company T's with Mori Building Ryutsu System and JBF Partners read on >> British fast fashion giant Topshop is making steps towards a wider expansion into the Japan market. With local partners Mori Building Ryutsu System (Mori's shopping center developer) and independent fund JBF Partners, Topshop has created a new Japanese corporation to handle Topshop and Topman operations: T's. This new company has acquired the exclusive sales rights for the two brands from holding company Arcadia Group.

T's has the starting capital of ¥330 million, with Mori Building contributing 35% and JBF Partners contributing 65%.

Now with T's in order, the brand will look to open 10 Topshop/Topman stores across Japan in three years. Currently, there is only one retail location, inside Laforet Harajuku. This shop has been under renovation since August, but will reopen on October 16 — in anticipation of the November 8 H&M Harajuku opening.

(This article was updated with further information on October 20.)

Keywords: Topshop , Mori Building
07 October 2008
Adidas to Open Original Store in Shinjuku
November 28 opening near station's south exit read on >> On November 28, Adidas Japan will open a store dedicated to its Adidas Originals line near the south exit of Shinjuku station in Tokyo.

The 282 square-meter shop will be in an area of stores including Zara, Uniqlo, and Levi's.

An additional Adidas Original shop will open in Tokyo's suburban Jiyugaoka neighborhood on October 10.

Keywords: adidas
07 October 2008
Popular Indie Brand green to Cease Activity
SS '09 last collection, store closes in June 2009 read on >> Popular Japanese independent fashion brand green has announced a suspension of all business activity for next year. The Spring/Summer 'o9 collection will be the brand's last, and its main retail space in Ebisu will close in late June 2009.

Designer Yukiko Ode chose to cease brand operations to better dedicate herself to childrearing. Partner Hideaki Yoshihara has stated that he did not want to continue the brand alone.

Ode and Yoshihara — both born in 1969 — founded the brand in 1998 and had been active in Tokyo Collection since 2005. They announced the closing of men's line "green MAN" in May of this year.
06 October 2008
Point Mid-term Earnings: Double-Digit Growth in Sales and Profit
Apart by Lowry's Farm, Jeanasis, Lepsim Lowry's Farm, and Heather do particularly well read on >> Apparel maker Point — home to popular youth brands such as Lowry's Farm, Hare, and Jeanasis — has reported its August 2008 consolidated mid-term earnings. Although the existing store base saw a 0.3% decrease, total sales went up 19.8% to ¥38.4 billion. Operating profits went up 12.8% to ¥5.9 billion. Ordinary profits increased 13.6% to ¥6 billion.

In this half-year, Point opened 53 new stores and closed 12, bringing the total number of retail locations to 497. Four brands — Jeanasis, Heather, Apart by Lowry's Farm, Lepsim Lowry's Farm — grew particularly well, with just those four now accounting for 26.5% of total sales.

Keywords: Point
06 October 2008
Coach Teams Up with Mobile Phone Company KDDI for au phone
1,941 phones sold at 19,410 JPY read on >> Coach Japan has teamed up with telecommunications giant KDDI to create a special limited-edition phone for the au mobile phone service. The phone will go on sale in late November and be available at all au stores nationwide. Only 1941 units, however, will be sold — a number reflecting Coach's founding year of 1941. Likewise, the price will be ¥19,410.

The phone is based off the "Full Change Keitai re" model decorated with the new Coach pink "op art" pattern on the exterior and desktop.

Keywords: Coach


Oct 19 2008
Autumn Magazines vs. Autumn Streets
Comparing street style to the magazine templates for autumn


Oct 20 2008
Tokyo Street Photos for October
Autumn trends such as Ugg boots and plaid check show up in full force.