Tokyo and Osaka fashion news: Luxury shopping remains vibrant

Tokyo and Osaka fashion news: Luxury shopping remains vibrant

Kanako Itamae and Michel Lebon

Modern Tokyo Times

The power of major luxury fashion brands throughout Japan is internationally famous because even during negative economic times the market can still flourish. Since the early 1990s and continuing today in 2012, the overall economic performance of Japan remains in the doldrums to small bursts of hope. However, despite everything, it seems that strong luxury brands can survive and prosper providing each respective company remains vibrant and responds to the changing times.

After the devastating March 11, 2011, earthquake which triggered the potent tsunami and nuclear crisis in Fukushima, then it appeared that this devastating event would impact deeply on luxury companies. After all, with over 19,000 people dying because of the tsunami and the nuclear crisis being highlighted daily on television and throughout all media forms, then gloom within the luxury brand sector seemed only natural. Yet once more Japan went against the grain because not only did sales gradually pick up but major fashion brands also continued to expand with new outlets throughout the country. Indeed, some international brands even opened their first ventures into the Japanese market despite everything.

Of particular interest to shoppers who buy luxury goods in Japan are exquisite quality and the rich heritage of the respective company. Another essential ingredient is the feeling of being made special and valued. Therefore, the layout design, environment, space, and other essential areas are especially important. The icing on the cake of all the above is the service experience because shoppers want to feel valued and appreciated. This means that Japanese shoppers want their shopping experience to be reciprocal when buying luxury products.

It is also known that a sizeable minority of fashion lovers in Japan like to travel throughout the region and buy luxury goods. This implies that for some tourists the shopping angle is also extremely popular because it is deemed to be part of the escapism from everyday life. Also, for many tourist shopaholics it is clear that buying luxury goods is part therapeutic – of course the essential aspect is buying exclusive products but other powerful areas like enjoying “a complete shopping experience” points in the direction of therapy with a small “t.”

Within Japan it is clear that major department stores seek to focus on quality, style, and to entice shoppers by having exquisite companies within each respective outlet. This means that major international and Japanese brands can be found within the environment of stunning department stores which cater for sublime fashion brands. Therefore, sales within traditional shopping areas remain extremely strong and powerful and clearly major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Sendai, and a host of others, focus heavily on the luxury sector.

Technology is also growing in influence in Japan especially within the younger generation. This means that smartphones are now a major asset for some individuals when purchasing goods. Given this, it is essential that luxury brand companies respond to the changing social media in Japan. If not, then some will be left behind in the future because time, convenience, speed, and other essential areas, appeal greatly to many individuals.

The market of Japan may appear to be not so vibrant when reading about the latest economic news. Yet this is misleading, the same applies to demographic realities. After all, while the population of Japan is starting to see a downward trend this doesn’t tell the complete story. This applies to the increasing populations of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya with over 64 million people within three mega regions. Likewise, for European fashion companies the Japanese market is very important. Therefore, in terms of international sales then this country still ranks either second or third – depending on different figures related to luxury sales.

Throughout major cities like Tokyo and Osaka shopaholics of luxury brands are literally spoilt for choice. In Tokyo you have many buzzing areas of quality fashion in places like Aoyama, Ginza, Omotesando, Yurakucho, and in many other trendy parts of this vibrant city. Similarly, in Osaka you have a wealth of places to shop for luxury brands and the ultra-modern reality of this amazing city continues to attract the crème de la crème of fashion brands. The beauty of the luxury market in Japan is that even in smaller cities like Koriyama in Fukushima, you will still find amazing department stores which cater for adorable and exquisite companies.

Therefore, when top notch luxury companies think about opening new outlets then the Japanese market is clearly high on the list because of past history and current trends. Overall, the luxury market is proven in Japan because this sector can not only survive during difficult times, but it can also expand providing the ingredients are correct.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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