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Japan|Ichiro Kumekawa’s Top 5 Happenings in the Fashion & Apparel Industry This Week

Nov 12, 2018.Ichiro KumegawaTokyo, JP
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① MASH HLDG August Settlement Increases in Sales and Profits

The August financial results from MASH Holdings Co. Ltd., may be the most prominent company currently in the fashion & apparel industry. Sales were at 70.4 billion yen (approx. US$ 617 million*) which is 10% over the previous year and operating income at 5.5 billion yen (approx. US$ 48 million*). The operating profit margin declined from 11% to 8% (according to Senken Newspapers from the Nov. 5 issue, P.1). MASH HLDG seems to have a steady foot hold, however it’s rebuilding of fashion brand, SNIDEL (half term at 3%) perhaps was the key.

② "Workman Plus" Tachikawa Store is the 2nd shop to Follow Up in Kawasaki City · Nakanoshima on November 8

In Senken newspaper’s “Daily Trade Journal” section, there isn’t a day that goes without reporting the movements coming from specialty retailer, WORKMAN CO.,LTD. Though just  a workwear manufacture company listed on the TSE JASDAQ, its achievements from the fiscal year end of March 2016 to the fiscal year end of March 2018 sales are on an astounding high: 49.5 billion yen (approx. US$ 433 million*) → 52 billion yen (approx. US$ 455 million*) → 56 billion yen (approx. US$ 490 million*) with operating profits from 8.8 billion (approx. US$ 77 million*) → 9.5 billion yen (approx. US$ 83.5 million*) → 10.6 billion yen (approx. US$ 93 million*). As we near the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, civil engineering work is heating up and the demand for work clothes will surely increase. Not only that but the company’s profession work wear for civil engineers, “Workman Plus” has become a big hit, even the general public have started their purchase. Because its workwear for professionals, it’s functionality against cold weather conditions, breathability, maneuverability, etc. is reminiscent to famous fashion brands such as Moncler and THE NORTH FACE who also offer the same, but of course, with less branding values and an obvious difference in price. For example, the company’s popular "Aero Stretch Blouson" is anti-static and is at 2,900 yen (approx. US$ 25*). It’s no wonder why it’s popular among the youths. Last but not least, the second place being UNIQLO, who is continuing other innovative developments which we should be on the lookout for in the next installment.

③ Private Brand, ZOZO’s Delay in Progress (Senken Newspapers Nov. 2 issue, P.3)

Is this a scoop from Senken newspaper? It’s an interview covering ZOZO’s President, Maezawa Yusaku. The smartphone tailoring app that caused a stir in the past year, ZOZO SUIT, and its private brand, ZOZO from April until the middle of September has only raised    650 million yen (approx. US$ 5.7 million*) in sales according to the article. There seems to be a dark cloud looming over 'ZOZO SUIT' & 'ZOZO'.

④ Mild Winter is Approaching? The October Sales Predictions for the Autumn Shopping Battle

Just how weather affects our agriculture, we are bound to the effects of the weather and this winter seems to be rather warm. If temperatures don’t drop, winter’s leading items: coat and down jackets won’t be flying off the racks while instead, shirts, dresses and skirts will be seeing more productivity. What’s a little unsettling are the domestic physical stores of UNIQLO in October, which was at 90% compared to the previous year. Fashion & apparel company slumps have come to use the weather as an excuse, however due to the spread of EC, the weather has little effect in consumer behaviours.

⑤ Upward Revision of the Medium-Term Management Plan (GOLDWIN Inc.) and downward revision (Sanyo Shokai Ltd.)

In the first week of November, companies that enter into this settlement in March next year will announce its interim results for September. Particularly, GOLDWIN has continuously given unyielding success. Operating profits have increased 2 times more than the previous year, amounting to 3.1 billion yen (approx. US$ 27 million*). Reflecting an upward revision of the medium-term management plan with the fiscal of March 2021 as the final year, net sales of 90 billion yen (approx. US$ 789 million*), initially 80 billion yen (approx. US$ 701 million*), operating income of 11 billion yen (approx. $US 94 million*) , initially 6.5 billion yen (approx. US$ 57 million*) , ordinary income of 11.5 billion yen (approx. US$ 100 million*) initially 73 billion yen, (approx. US$ 640 million*), but if the current best condition continues, annual sales will generate 100 billion yen (approx. US$ 876 million*).
This is December's settlement, but meanwhile, the financial announcement of the third quarter (January-September) on Oct. 30 of Sanyo Shokai shows a downward revision encontrare to GOLDWIN. The company has revised its medium-term management plan down to the final year of December for next year. Sales of 65 billion yen (approx. US$ 569 million*) → 62 billion yen (approx. US$ 543 million*) , with operating profits of 2 billion yen (approx. US$ 17 million*) → 500 million yen (approx. US$ 4.3 million*). There is also the possibility that the deficit will plunge and the current dividend of 40 yen will be omitted. All is the poor performance due to the end of the license agreement for Burberry in 2015. On the other hand, belt manufacturing wholesale company, Negishi Corporation (headquarters: Taito-ku, Tokyo), terminated their Burberry license agreement in 2012, applied for bankruptcy on Oct. 31.

*1 USD = 114.023 JPY (As of Nov.12, 2018)