Japan: A Modern Retail Superpower
The study and analysis of Japanese distribution has passed through several distinct stages, and mostly without tangible result. It was not the aim of this book to consider older, academic work, but rather to show that retailing and distribution in Japan is now quite similar to that in other industrialized nations. Many, and in particular Japanese academics, would argue that Japanese distribution is culturally based and therefore unique by definition. This is of course partially true, but the importance and extent of this uniqueness extends only as far as micro level store operations, some business customs and, in a few cases, consumer tastes. Whereas up to the early 1990s distribution in Japan was largely a manufacturer-controlled system entirely dependent on structures and procedures that over time had become almost tradition, the same is certainly not true today. Scholars may continue to claim that Japan is unique, but companies such as Aeon, Fast Retailing, Yaoko, and Onward Kashiyama all share the same objective: profit through successful supply of consumer needs. No matter how much this is disturbing to the more traditional observers and commentators on Japanese distribution, it is equally undeniable that in this sense the modern system is no different from that in any other.
KeywordsEurope Marketing Lution Stake Undercut
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