Health and Beauty Specialist Retailers in Japan - New Market Study Published

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Wed Apr 01 2015

In 2014, health and beauty specialist retailers grew by 3% in value terms, mainly led by the two channels: Chemists/pharmacies and drugstores/parapharmacies which grew by 4% and 2%, respectively. This strong growth is the result of aggressive store expansion, with the number of chemists/pharmacies and drugstores/parapharmacies having recorded growth for more than 13 consecutive years. The Japanese drugstores/parapharmacies channel is highly saturated and companies are looking for new store formats to expand into untapped areas with smaller populations, despite the already high number of outlets. One store type on the rise is called ‘convenience drugstores’, which is drugstores in typically smaller stores with a function similar to convenience stores, and a higher ratio of grocery sales. The companies aim to cater to the consumers with limited access to shopping facilities via such new store format which requires less operational costs, serving in similar ways to convenience stores.

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Competitive Landscape

Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings maintained its leading position with a 3% value share in health and beauty specialist retailers in 2014. Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings expanded its share by actively promoting M&A, acquiring Shimeno Drug present in Hokuriku in December 2013. The company also strengthened its private label products on offer, including skincare products developed in partnership with Kose Corp, some of which are more expensive than similar products by national brands but became popular among consumers aged 30 or over. In addition, the company was one of the first companies to start utilising the mobile application LINE in its advertising strategy, reducing direct mail advertisement in return. The company’s LINE account has more than 8.6 million members in 2014, reaching the target segments more effectively by sending vouchers and news. Although the company has maintained its leading position for many years, the Japanese health and beauty specialist channel is highly fragmented with many players present, and the competition intensified.

Industry Prospects

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