Overview of the Retail Apparel Market

The retail apparel market

The scale of the Japanese retail apparel market is around ¥9-10 trillion. Amid structural issues that include Japan’s aging demographic profile and low wage growth, sales volumes have trended upwards in recent years. This trend has been against a backdrop of an increasing number of consumers who choose products by quality as opposed to price. Functional products, including “cool biz” products, and clothing for the mature woman have also sold well.

Trends in the scale of Japan’s retail apparel market and UNITED ARROWS Group sales

Trends in the scale of Japan’s retail apparel market and UNITED ARROWS Group sales

Channel diversification

The increase in strong brands has contributed to department stores recording year-on-year revenue increases. Excluding the time of the Lehman Brothers collapse, specialty stores have also performed steadily. An area on which each company is focusing, online sales (included in the others channel)* remain firm as a result of the successful implementation of initiatives, such as improvements in service and widening the range of products offered.

* The others channel includes mail order (Internet, catalogue, television, others) as well as discount stores.

Trends in rates of sales growth by sales channel

Trends in rates of sales growth by sales channel

Select shops

Select shops are stores that provide customers with products procured from all over the world, based on unique brand concepts and the discerning judgment of their buyers.

There are also companies that adopt an SPA (specialty store retailer of private label apparel) strategy under which they offer a mix of purchased and private label products. In handling products that offer the appeal of high-value-added attributes and a distinctive uniqueness, select shops are positioned between department and specialty stores at the mid- to high-end price range. As such, they are relatively unaffected by trends in economic conditions.

UNITED ARROWS LTD. maintains a balance between attracting customers by carefully handpicking selected designer brands from Japan and overseas and ensuring high profitability by offering private label brands. The Company has the largest sales of any company adopting a select shop business model and is the only such company to have publicly listed its stock.

Trends in total sales of five major select shop companies and UNITED ARROWS LTD.’s market share

Trends in total sales of five major select shop companies and UNITED ARROWS LTD.’s market share