Why the Textiles Market is Flourishing in Japan Right Now
Aug 06, 2020

Japan may be famous for its exports, but it is also one of the largest clothing importers. It is one of the largest apparel markets in the world, ranking third after the European Union and the United States. It is also starting to focus on manufacturing clothing inside its own borders. More importantly, it is still growing, even with its massive size. Let’s take a look at why the textiles market is flourishing in Japan.

It Is Disproportionately Large

One of the biggest attractions to the Japanese market is its sheer size. While Japan’s population is around 125 million, its apparel market is 120% the size of India’s. It has as many people as Mexico but buys four times as many clothes. The Japanese market is also three times as large as Brazil and roughly 250% the size of South Korea’s market. That makes it a destination for many brands seeking to expand into Asia.

Japan’s Market Is Competitive

One thing about the Japanese market, however, is that it’s very competitive. Local brands are major players, though some of these companies are international companies based in Japan. Still, the market remains open to many other brands.

Both American brands and other nation’s apparel brands have significant market shares there. Furthermore, the Japanese market isn’t fixated on the dominant American brands, making it possible for smaller firms to compete in this market space.

It Is Fast-Moving

One reason why Japan’s apparel market is so large is that the country loves fast fashion. Sales in this category far exceed that of luxury brands. This makes Japan very different from Asian countries like China and South Korea. It also makes it different from most European countries.

Fast fashion is affordable, trendy clothing that is borrowed from celebrity culture. This, plus Japan’s openness to outside brands, means this is a great opportunity for clothing retailers.

However, expanding into this market is still very challenging. This is where people like New Horizons can help. They are a Japan EOR, or employer or record. They allow you to expand your business into Japan, hiring translators, manufacturing representatives, marketers and anyone else you need to do business in this dynamic country. They can also handle the complex payroll and Human Resources administration involved in hiring someone in Japan. You can read this information on EOR in Japan if you want to learn more of the benefits EORs provide.

EORs are a viable solution for foreign companies that want to partner with Japanese firms to create new products catering to the Japanese market. This is true whether you’re using Japanese motifs or Japanese textiles to create something aimed at this massive textile market.

There Are Fast-Growing Segments in This Relatively Stable Market

We’ve already mentioned that Japan’s fashion industry is growing at a steady pace. However, there are niches that are growing faster than others.

For example, Athleisure is one of the fastest-growing niches in the apparel sector. This is notable given that the aging population is decreasing demand for business apparel and fashion trends in general. Business apparel has long been a large segment of the Japanese fashion industry.

More than 90% of Japanese people have access to the internet, and e-commerce is a steadily growing distribution channel for apparel companies. However, this area has significant room to expand, because the Japanese still buy 80% percent of their clothes in the store. For comparison, that figure is 70% in South Korea and 68% in China.

Japan has a disproportionately large apparel market, and still has room for new competitors and new products. That is why it is rapidly changing and presents an excellent opportunity for expanding brands.