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Home and Garden in Japan

Japan home products market: Highly fragmented industry

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2014-02-18 19:13:02 - Home and Garden in Japan - a new market research report on

Consumers returned to investing in Japan home products market in 2012 as the economic climate in the country showed signs of recovery, with positive GDP growth in real terms. The improved housing market was the major contributor to this recovery, boosting retail value sales of home improvement and home furnishings. Increased consumer willingness to undertake home renovations following the March 2011 earthquake also aided the performance of home and garden in 2012.

The housing market in Japan remained strong due to the increased number of new dwellings. Government incentives for new homebuyers played a central role in reviving the housing market. Together with historically low mortgage loan rates, Japanese consumers were able to afford to buy their homes. Home renovation by



existing homeowners also became increasingly popular thanks to government subsidies for home nursing for the elderly, for example. In this environment, Japanese homeowners were increasingly willing to invest in their homes.

Home and garden in Japan is a highly fragmented industry from both a manufacturer and retailer perspective. The leading player is Nitori Co Ltd, whose low-priced home and garden products are of reasonable quality and attract consumers looking for value for money. The company‟s aggressive store expansion programme has given it a strong retail network, with a presence in every one of the 47 prefectures across the country. This also enabled the company to increase its market share between 2008 and 2012.

Home and garden specialist retailers remained the dominant players in the retail distribution of home and garden products in Japan in 2012. A wide variety of products and well-trained and knowledgeable sales representatives are the channel‟s key advantages. Furthermore, this channel is becoming increasingly consolidated as large players are able to offer bigger discounts due to economies of scale. Their private label business model, which involves all aspects such as product planning, import, distribution and retailing, helps to maintain their cost advantage.

The improved demand from new housing developments and home renovations will remain a major driver of growth of home and garden products in Japan over the short term. However, the forthcoming rise in consumption tax in 2014 and 2015 will hamper the growth of home and garden as consumers will become increasingly reluctant to invest in their homes. Overall, with Japanese consumers optimistic about economic recovery over the forecast period, the sales growth of home and garden products is expected to be positive, albeit marginal.

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