Japan Luxury Market: Richemont and the Power of the Japanese Apple Pie
Tomoko Hara and Michel Lebon
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese apple pie continues to attract the most refined luxury brands in the world because this market is extremely powerful in the land of the rising sun. Richemont is one of countless international brands and groups that simply adore the Japanese market because of the ample opportunities that are made available. Of course, all companies will go through trying times but the enduring factor about the Japanese luxury market is that even during difficult economic periods it is clear that high profits are still obtainable. Therefore, following on from 2013 it appears that the Japanese market is making up for more lean times in China for Richemont when it comes to watches and other high-end items.
Yves-André Istel, Chairman of the highly esteemed luxury group emanating from Switzerland, stated: “Richemont today reports a satisfactory set of results for the year ended 31 March 2014, supported by improvements in Asia Pacific, the Americas and Japan.”
Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times comments: “The above statement is clearly music to the ears of Richemont because in recent times the Chinese market is clearly not meeting the expected high expectations that were forecast by many experts several years ago. This reality highlights the reliability and influence of Japan within the international luxury market because demand in this nation remains solid for Richemont. Of course, this isn’t to downplay the Chinese market because obviously the future potential is enormous and many famous brands are doing exceptionally well in China. However, the loyalty factor and longevity of luxury brands in Japan is significant for many major groups like Richemont.”
The recent rise in consumption tax in Japan may lead to certain negative results in the initial months following on from the ending of the tax year. Yet, this initial period will return to stability and with the economy of Japan appearing to be on an upward curve then times appear promising to say the least. Therefore, results currently related to Richemont in Japan must be viewed based on the recent tax rise.
Last year Reuters reported: “Everybody is doing well in Japan; we’re doing well, and all of our competitors are doing well … That stimulation is working there,” outgoing Chairman Johann Rupert told journalists on the sidelines of the annual shareholder meeting in Geneva. Rupert announced earlier this year he would take a year’s sabbatical from September.”
Overall, Japan accounts for approximately 9% of all sales for Richemont according to figures in 2013. This reality means that Japan is ranked fourth in terms of sales. However, when you take into account the enormous population of China and other major nations like America, then clearly this highlights the influence of the luxury market in Japan.