Japan is the world’s third largest economy and its consumers are renowned for their strong desire for excellent-quality, precision products. There is therefore no surprise that demand for luxury goods has traditionally been high in Japan, stifled only by economic crises. Now, after 20 years of fluctuating trends during Japan’s bubble economy and the subsequent global financial crisis, confidence is finally being restored by the economic and structural reforms undertaken by the current government, and consumer spending is increasing.
Cosmetics & Perfumes
Japan’s cosmetics market is widely regarded as one of the most sophisticated and competitive markets worldwide, with over 1000 cosmetics companies – both foreign and domestic – operating in japan. However, the Japanese market is dominated by a series of domestic manufacturers which control a significant share of the market. The largest domestic cosmetics manufacturers are Kanebo, Shiseido and Kao, which each occupy a 10-15 share of the cosmetics market. However, as in the retail and fashions sectors, the brand appeal of certain high end European cosmetics – particularly from France – have a significant standing in the Japanese market.
Japan’s domestic cosmetics market attained a value of 2,320 billion yen in the 2013 financial year, an increase of 1.3% relative to the previous year. This second consecutive year of growth extended to all subsectors of the cosmetics industry, including skincare, makeup, hair care, fragrance, and men’s cosmetics. The Japanese cosmetics market has been steadily maturing over the last few years due to various social reasons such as Japan’s declining birth-rate and ageing population. As result, the cosmetics markets for Japanese seniors and for men are likely to expand significantly in the coming years.
According to the Japan External Trade Organization, jewellery is defined as ‘personal ornaments made from precious metals and/or coloured stones, such as rings, bracelets, necklace, earrings, etc.’ Depending on the materials used, JETRO divides the sector into three main sub-sectors: jewellery, coloured stones, and accessories. Jewellery products are mostly composed of precious metals, such as gold, silver or platinum, while coloured stones are produced with precious and semi-precious stones. Accessories are usually also considered as a type of jewellery in which neither precious metals, nor coloured stones are used. These may be composed of non-precious metals, but also plastics, wood or other materials.
Reference: EU BUSINESS IN JAPAN