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Profiles of Onward Kashiyama, Renown and World
published in Issue 88, July 2000
Onward Kashiyama, Japan’s leading apparel company, has thrived by selling men’s and women’s apparel under a variety of its own brands and top international names such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. However, the company has suffered recently from weak sales through department stores and a slowdown in revenue growth from its core brands. Onward Kashiyama has raised operating efficiencies, and products are now mostly subcontracted and made overseas. But to secure future profits, it must rebuild its core brands, cultivate new ones, and reduce its reliance on department stores.
Renown, one of Japan’s oldest apparel makers, targets different age groups with medium- to high-priced men’s and women’s apparel. Products are sold, mainly through department stores, under 85 brand names. Renown has not recorded a profit for nine years. But a new strategy has started to pay off. Unwanted assets are being scrapped and Renown aims to sell more of its goods through directly managed speciality stores. Debt levels and operating losses have already fallen and the company is forecasting a net profit of¥1 bn for 2000/01.
World focuses on women’s apparel, although sales of men’s clothing are growing. Products are sold under 54 in-house brands at prices which are pitched just below those of designer labels such as Emporio Armani and Max Mara. Sales of World’s retail brands increased by 17% in the first half of 2000/01. But revenues and profits have been falling. World’s strategic response has led to a speeding up of delivery times, more control over inventory and retail operations, and the launch of five ranges per year. Revenues have halved but profits have soared. For the future, World aims to capitalise on its superior brand development skills, while promoting e-retailing and developing a new store concept, the Multi-Taste Remix Generation Store.
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