Japan’s Aeon turns to store brands in tough times By Taiga Uranaka Aeon, the second-largest retailer in Japan announced it would introduce more Private Brands and dramatically cut the prices of existing Private Brands. The Private Brands in Japan are following the same trend as the US and Europe where Tesco, Kroger and Safeway are positioning their Private Brands as direct competitors to national brands.
According to an article from Reuters, sales of Aeon’s “Top Valu” Private Brand products are likely to grow by more than 40 percent in the year ending this month, Kunihiko Hisaki, Aeon’s chief merchandising officer, told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday. Aeon said starting next month it would replace 1,700 store brand items with cheaper ones and add 500 new products. That would lift sales of Private Brands to around 371 billion yen ($3.9 billion) at Aeon, which has around 2,000 stores.
Aeon’ competitor, Seven & I, Japan’s biggest retailer, is reporting a similar growth in its Private Brands. It expected sales of its private label items to more than double to 180 billion yen in the current business year, a spokesman said. Interestingly enough the Japanese retailer uses English names and seems to be mimicking the private brand structure of many US and European grocers.
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