Increasingly keener competition in Asia among the major Japanese, American, and European retailers with the powerful Asian retailers also joining the competition

Insurance Research Department          Executive research fellow & General Manager    for Asia Tomikazu Hiraga 


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The number of middle and wealthy class people with purchasing power of more expensive durable consumer goods or services increases in Asian emerging countries because of economic development, and rapid growth in the number of such people is expected hereafter. Major retail markets in Asia become a place where keen competition among major Japanese, American, and European companies, in addition to the local and Asian companies, is underway, just like the Olympic Games, so to speak, under circumstances of ongoing urbanization and shift to a service economy in each country. It is often pointed out that Western companies (Carrefour Group of France, Wal-Mart Stores of the US, TESCO of the UK, etc.) have a large presence as a result of a rapid increase in the number of stores for a short period of time after their market entry,while Japanese companies are often said to enter the markets more prudently and open stores at a slower pace and on a smaller scale.

However the author observes some interesting changes in such trends, and leading companies in Japan including AEON Co., Ltd., Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd (Ito-Yokado Co., Ltd., and Seven-Eleven), Lawson, FamilyMart, FAST RETAILING CO., LTD.operating the UNIQLO chain, and Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. managing the “MUJI”brand chain accelerate their attempts in a forward-looking manner. Further, leading retailers in Asia, such as LOTTE Shopping Co., Ltd. of Korea and RT-MART INTERNATIONAL LTD. of Taiwan are positively expanding into markets within the region. The author will focus more on hypermarket/supermarket and convenience store business, expressing his personal views on features of strategies and corporate behavior of influential companies in Japan, the US, Europe, and other areas or competitive advantages in the major retail markets in Asia in this paper.

Insurance Research Department            Executive research fellow & General Manager    for Asia

Tomikazu Hiraga

Research field
Global Business and International Economy  mainly in Asia and Global HRM