Fundamental Japanese retail market shift

March 13, 2010


The new Japanese consumer

The attitudes and behavior of Japanese consumers are shifting dramatically, presenting opportunities and challenges for companies in the world’s second-largest retail market.

After decades of behaving differently, Japanese consumers suddenly look a lot like their counterparts in Europe and the United States. Celebrated for their willingness to pay for quality and convenience and usually uninterested in cheaper products, Japanese consumers are now flocking to discount and online retailers. Sales of relatively affordable private-label foods have increased dramatically, and many consumers, despite small living spaces, are buying in bulk. Instead of eating out, people are entertaining at home. Workers are even packing their own lunches, sparking the nickname bento-danshi, or “box-lunch man.”

This fundamental shift in the attitudes and behavior of Japanese consumers seems likely to persist, irrespective of any economic recovery… Read more by Brian Salsberg, McKinsey

haplif – Frank Kalder  (Global Haplifnet)