New Cutting-Edge Japan Market Research Reports by Euromonitor International

23 Nov 2012 • by Natalie Aster

Consumer Electronics in Japan. The Japanese consumer electronics industry experienced a weak performance in 2011. The most important driver of the performance was the end of the eco-point system, a government incentive to encourage consumers to purchase eco-friendly consumer electronics and appliances. Japanese consumers used the campaign to replace a variety of consumer electronics, and when it ended there was a significant drop in new purchases. However, there were some bright spots as the industry saw strong growth emerge.

Mixed retailers were losing grip on consumer electronics business segments over the review period. This included Japan’s leading retail chains AEON Group and Ito-Yokado Co Ltd. Given that their target consumer segment comprises budget consumers, competition with electronics and appliance specialist retailers will remain uncertain. With on-going price erosion, particularly regarding TVs, the price competitiveness of mixed retailers is reduced as consumers will continue to purchase from electronics and appliance specialist retailers with wider product ranges which include offerings for consumers in all income segments. The availability of detailed information from well-trained staff with industry-specific knowledge will also represent an advantage.

Beauty and Personal Care in Japan. Beauty and personal care products, especially premium brands, saw a decline in sales. With slow economic recovery, consumers suspended purchases of premium brands in 2011. The great east Japan earthquake in March further exacerbated the market environment by inflicting confusion and anxiety among consumers. Although consumer sentiment returned to pre-earthquake state towards the end of review period, it did not have enough impact to push overall annual sales back to positive growth.

Skin care has the largest sales of all the categories in Japan’s beauty and personal care market. Given such lucrative size of the market, non-BPC manufacturers have entered skin care. Rohto Pharmaceutical Co Ltd is a pharmaceutical company which is mostly known for eye care products. Rohto Pharmaceutical launched mass skin care product brands, Hada Labo and Obagi. Taking advantage of its established position in the pharmaceutical market, Rohto Pharmaceutical has managed to develop a major strength in functional skin care brands. Instead of appealing on scent or brand image, Rohto Pharmaceutical emphasised the effectiveness of its skin care lines based on its background in pharmaceutical manufacturing skills.

Hada Labo is the top selling brand and its brand name means ‘skin research’. Hada Labo promotes its capability in moisturising skin and its key concept is simple care with reasonable pricing. Other pharmaceutical companies which produce skin care products are Zenyaku Kogyo Co Ltd, Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd. Zenyaku Kogyo Co produces skin care brand Arouge for consumers with sensitive skin. Daiichi Sankyo Co launched Aminon, targeting young women and Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co applied herbal traditional treatments to its skin care range, Megurihada.

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