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Luxury

27

Jun

Time for a Change

By Dominic Carter

 

After years of reporting on a Japanese consumer in retreat, we believe we are starting to see a sea change.

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27

Jun

Springtime Comes to Consumerland

By Dominic Carter

 

Those of us who have lived in Japan for some time will often marvel at how quickly and definitely the seasons change. One day it’s winter and the next it’s spring – such is the speed with which the seemingly entrenched weather pattern can change. So also it seems with the economic mood. As late as six months ago I was making presentations to our clients on the basis that we were faced with a consumer in full retrenchment.

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21

Apr

Reemergence of Old Eco Practices

By Dominic Carter

 

The trend towards ecologically mindful consumption is a well established trend in Western countries, spanning decades. But what about Japan? Taking a look at any urban streetscape in this country could lead one to think otherwise, but it’s fair to say that Japanese have the idea of “eco” running in their veins. More than merely a trend, an appreciation and even a celebration of the natural environment is a key pillar of Japanese culture.

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11

Mar

Definition of “Premium” and “Prestige” Changing for World’s Most Voracious Luxury Consumers

By Debbie Howard

 

Luxury brands continue to be one of the most fascinating of all consumer categories here, since Japanese consumers have proven themselves to be among the world’s heaviest purchasers.  Although some predict that the scales will tip as early as 2015 with Chinese consumers taking the lead, for now, Japanese consumers represent from 20~25% of global luxury sales – still a hefty share.

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24

Nov

Stingy Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

There’s no polite way of saying it. It seems to me lately that Japan is turning into a nation of cheapskates. But, truth be told, Japanese have always adopted a defensive stance when it comes to spending money. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to establish a relationship of trust with Japanese buyers, before they will part with their or their company’s “hard-earned”. Building trust and status have always been the prerequisites for brands to entice people in this country to open their wallets. And when those prerequisites are met, until recently, they have spent big. For example, Japan’s luxury business for many years weathered the long-term national economic decline. Consumers simply made economies in other areas of their budget so that they could splurge on whatever totemic item that was flavour of the month.

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20

Jan

Hankyu to the Metrosexual

By Dominic Carter

 

Given that the market for luxury in Japan has been shrinking in recent years, Hankyu’s decision to double down by opening a luxury emporium exclusively for men seems like a bold one.

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24

Oct

One Way or Another, Japanese Still Love Their Luxury Brands

By Debbie Howard

 

Luxury brands make up one of the most interesting of all consumer product segments in Japan. After all, the Japanese have long prized them, and indeed the nation’s shoppers still hold the title of “world’s biggest spenders on luxuries.”

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01

Mar

Changes in Distribution Channels Linked to Craving for Convenience

By Debbie Howard

 

Walking through Takashimaya Co.’s department store in Tokyo’s Nihombashi district last week, I was impressed by its grandeur, efficient staff and presentation of luxury brands.  However, I also noted its “emptiness” in terms of number of customers.

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16

Nov

Luxury Brands Find Growing Demand for ‘Emerald’ Goods

By Debbie Howard

 

Since Japanese consumers drive 40% of global sales revenue for luxury branded goods, it is easy to see why luxury brand marketers put great stock in what these important customers are thinking and how they are behaving.

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27

Aug

Confident Shoppers Have New Attitude Toward Luxury Brands

By Debbie Howard

 

When I first came to Japan 22 years ago, Japanese consumers were primarily obsessed with two things – brand and country of origin.  The brand had to be traditional and, most likely, highly prestigious.  And the preferred country of origin was overwhelmingly Japan – unless someone was purchasing a high-end luxury item, in which case the more European the better (preferably French or Italian).

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